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Considering digital assets and accounts in estate planning

It's not easy to think about the future, especially when it comes to issues pertaining to a debilitating medical condition or your passing. People often avoid the process of estate planning because they do not want to consider these things or they believe that it's not a necessary thing for their stage of life. In reality, estate planning is important for every Florida adult, regardless of age, health status and income level.

One aspect of estate planning you would be wise to consider is your online life. Like most people, you probably have online accounts and even digital assets that are worth protecting. It is smart to consider these as you draft an estate plan, making plans for what will happen to your online presence in the future.

The digital aspects of your estate plan

Your estate plan is about more than just your money, your property and other assets you may have. You can actually include provisions that will address important aspects of your online life, including passwords, social media, online bank accounts and account usernames. If you do not account for these things in your estate plan, it is possible that your loved ones will not be able to access important assets or information after you pass.

Despite what many people think, it is actually quite difficult for even an immediate relative to gain access to online accounts if they do not have the passwords. Most of the time, companies consider online accounts private property, and they will not give access even after the account holder's death. If you want your spouse, for example, to be able to do things on your behalf in the future, you need to account for that in your estate plan.

Specific details

How can you know what you specifically need to mention in your estate plan? Every person's needs are different, but some of the specific things you may want to account for in your plan include:

  • Computers
  • Social medial account information
  • Email accounts
  • Online banking and credit card login information
  • Electronic devices
  • Digital services, such as online photo storage

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to estate planning needs. It is smart to seek an evaluation of your individual case to better understand the options available to you. An experienced attorney can help you craft a plan that includes important terms regarding your online life and digital assets that could important for your loved ones and beneficiaries.

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