Digital assets and Estate Planning

 

Estate Planning

What are digital assets?

Most of us today bank, shop, and pay our bills online.  Our tablets and pc’s often have hundreds of photos and we have numerous social media accounts.  We have countless passwords and pin numbers.  So a digital asset is anything you personally own on a digital device such as a laptop, mobile, etc and includes the contents you own on that device, for example, emails, photos, documents, music.    Other digital assets could be online accounts, social media accounts, websites etc.

So why should you consider your digital assets in your Will and Power of Attorney?

You need to empower someone to manage your digital assets, otherwise the assets may be left in limbo, causing great difficulty in closing and managing accounts;   Social media accounts continue open and cannot be closed without difficulty.  Estate assets could be difficult to trace and may not be found. Privacy laws can cause issues when trying to access and manage online accounts and social media.  So it is important to give someone the power to access and manage your digital assets.

Digital Executor and Attorney ?

Your executor is responsible for administering the affairs of your estate and you can include specific provision in your Will for your executor or appoint a specific person to deal with your digital assets, and similarly; your attorney can be empower with specific provisions regarding managing and accessing your digital assets.

Managing your Digital Assets?

For most of us, you need to make a registry record of all your online accounts (banks, shopping, betting, utility, rates etc), passwords, pin numbers, locations of electronic documents, photos, music, email accounts, social media accounts, answers to secret questions.   We then recommend transfer the registry to a usb device,  put it away safely and tell your executor or attorney where the device can be found and any password to open the device.  We also recommend you update your registry every 12 months and replace the usb every 12 months.

View our Fees for Wills & Powers of Attorney here

Contact Us or email Roz Davis to discuss your Digital Asset Estate Planning requirements at rozdavis@absolutelegal.com.au