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Can you include your digital assets in your estate plan?

On Behalf of | May 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

Digital assets are any online account or file that you own or have access to, such as email, social media, cloud storage, cryptocurrency, etc. These assets may have financial, sentimental or personal value to you and your heirs.

However, unlike physical assets, digital assets are not automatically transferred to your beneficiaries when you die. You need to take some steps to ensure that your digital assets are included in your estate plan and that your Ohio executor or trustee can access them.

Make an inventory of your digital assets

List all the online accounts and files that you have, along with their usernames, passwords, security questions and other login information.

You can use a password manager or a spreadsheet to store this information securely. You should also indicate what you want to happen to each asset after your death, such as deleting, transferring or preserving it.

Choose a digital executor or trustee

This is someone who will be responsible for managing your digital assets according to your wishes. You can name the same person as your regular executor or trustee, or you can choose a different person who is more tech-savvy or familiar with your online activities.

Name a backup person in case the first one is unable or unwilling to serve.

Your will or trust

You can either create a separate document that refers to your digital asset inventory and names your digital executor or trustee, or you can incorporate these provisions into your existing will or trust.

You should also include a clause that grants your digital executor or trustee access to your online accounts and files and authorizes them to bypass any terms of service agreements that may prevent them from doing so.

Store your documents safely and accessibly

You should keep your digital asset inventory and your will or trust in a secure location, such as a safe deposit box, a fireproof safe or an encrypted cloud storage service. You should also make sure that your digital executor or trustee knows where to find these documents and how to access them when needed.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your digital assets are included in your estate plan and that they are managed according to your wishes after your death. This can save your heirs from a lot of hassle and confusion, and protect your legacy and privacy online.