Don’t Forget Digital Assets in Your Estate Planning

An important step in estate planning is creating an inventory of your assets. Your executor — the person you designate in your will to carry out your last wishes — uses the inventory to make sure all of your property passes to your heirs.

These days, some of your assets may exist in digital form. Documenting your “digital assets” along with more traditional effects can help ensure your final wishes are honored and your estate is administered correctly.

Here are things to keep in mind as you compile a list of your digital assets.

  • Passwords. In order to review financial accounts with banks, brokerages, or other businesses, your executor will need your current password. If you protect passwords with an encrypted program, include the master access key.

    Most importantly, keep your list updated when you change passwords.

  • Be comprehensive. Add web addresses, user names, and passwords for nonfinancial accounts such as your e-mail and online storage sites to your inventory. Why? These accounts can be essential for retrieving invoices, statements, and other paperwork for which you’ve chosen electronic-only delivery.
  • Remember the non-digital. The physical assets you use to access your digital data include your phone, tablet, and computer. Information your executor will need: passwords and file names. Also list the location and encryption information for off-site or standalone storage devices such as flash or other external drives.

When it comes to planning, keeping track of your online financial activity can be vital. Please give us a call if you need more information.