Source: What is Digital Estate Planning by Michelle Huhnke of Financial Poise
Pass Down Digital Assets, Including Cryptocurrency and Family Memories, Through Your Estate Plan
What happens to your digital assets at death? Who can access your online data when you are incapacitated? Digital estate planning allows you to protect your online accounts, digital currencies, photos and other properties stored digitally.
The law makes it possible for you to design and control your digital estate plan, and to give consent to an executor to access your digital assets.
Traditional Estate Administration Is Changing
When conducting estate administration, the first task must be to marshal the deceased’s assets.
To “marshal the assets” means to:
- Identify all of the decedent’s assets
- Protect them
- Retitle them in the name of the estate
For years, I counseled family members about the estate of a loved one. I advised them to collect all of the mail for one or two months.
We used account statements and correspondence to confirm we knew all of the deceased person’s assets and accounts. Back then, we looked also at income tax returns to find the sources of his or her income.
That’s all changed.
Much or most of our financial information is now kept on the cloud, a hard drive or a smartphone (not in a filing cabinet). When a person dies, marshaling his or her assets takes place in the digital world.
Our digital assets extend well beyond the financial. The content of our social lives is online. When […]