Fact Sheet: Estate Planning for Digital Assets
Estate planning for digital assets? As technology advances, the law must also
advance. The two are inextricably tied together. Now that many, if not most,
people have digital assets, they must be part of one’s estate plan.
Digital assets are online photo sharing sites, email accounts, websites, and
social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube accounts.
It is imperative that your trusted helpers have a master list of online
usernames and passwords for digital assets so that accounts can be accessed
if you become disabled or die.
Estate planning clients need to decide if they would like social media sites
taken down at death, continue as is, or continue with a farewell message.
Facebook now offers an “If I Die” service wherein users can write a message
or tape a video message to be posted after death. It’s a way to say “thank
you” and “good bye” to virtual friends. It’s a love letter of sorts.
Love letters, photographs, videos, poems, and the like are the most cherished
of all inheritances.
Also, have a master list of all financial online accounts such as bank
accounts, investment accounts, utilities, and other online services. Include
your account #, username, and password for each account. Your trusted
helper will need to access your accounts to either manage or wind down
your financial life.
Don’t forget a list of emails, usernames, and passwords as well. You may
have bills or other important messages coming into your accounts which
your trusted helper should address.
Also, include information for photo sharing sites or any other virtual
communities to which you belong.
The virtual world of digital assets is a new area in the field of estate planning.
You’ll be cutting edge if you take a few moments to consider how you’d like your
digital assets to be handled should you become disabled or when you die.
If you have any questions about estate planning for digital assets, consult with a
qualified estate planning attorney.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Mobile AL of the Ryan Hicks Cumpton &
Cumpton LLP offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents
of Mobile AL. To learn more about these free resources, please visit