How do digital assets fit into an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2021 | Estate Planning

The fundamentals of estate planning do not change, even as the decades pass. Preparing a last will and testament and power of attorney designations continues to stand as essential elements for Michigan residents, as does putting together a file of helpful information that an executor or beneficiaries may need at some point. Technology has changed over the years, meaning peoplee must think about how to rely on information about digital assets.

Putting digital assets into an estate plan

“Digital assets” is a catchall term that covers a great many different things. Passwords to cryptocurrency, social media, email, and online brokerage accounts fall under the digital asset banner. Digital accounts even extend to things people don’t commonly think of as technological. Utilities and bank accounts do not come to mind when discussing digital items, but online access to those accounts is commonly offered.

Handling digital accounts in estate planning involves taking steps to ensure the right people, such as an executor of the estate, have access to those accounts. Otherwise, probate may become needlessly complicated and drawn out.

Digital access organization

Typing a comprehensive list of various digital assets reflects an essential step. Listing the passwords to the accounts in the document helps as well. This way, when an executor or attorney-in-fact receives the information, the person gets the primary items he or she needs to know.

Of course, storing this information requires care along while also considering security. If the information ends up compromised, the consequences could prove disastrous. To prevent identity theft and other troubles, putting the information in a secure place makes sense. The secure location has to be accessible, though. Perhaps keeping the information inside an attorney’s client file or safe works.