Technology has redefined the way we live and work. As a result, it’s becoming important to plan for digital assets when creating your estate plan.
Attorney Anthony Candela, who provides estate planning services in Tampa, FL, frequently helps clients get their digital assets in order when creating a will and other documents. Here’s what you need to consider when estate planning in the digital age.
The use of Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency is becoming more widespread. More and more people are also investing in Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, it is not held in a traditional bank account.
If you have any digital accounts containing Bitcoin, the accounts need to be properly handled after your death. Otherwise, their value will be lost. With traditional financial assets, the executors typically need to provide a death certificate and other documents in order to have control of the decedent’s estate.
With cryptocurrency, all that's needed is the decedent’s login information for the account. Your estate planning documents need to contain this information, so the fiduciary of the estate can access, invest, or distribute the currency according to your wishes.
Other digital accounts with value
The internet has unlocked the ability to earn income in a variety of ways: publishing YouTube videos, writing ebooks, re-selling items on eBay, and much more. In many cases, money earned through these digital channels is stored in the account until it is transferred to a bank account. Also, digital items that are for sale, in addition to monetized YouTube videos, will continue to earn royalties until they are taken offline.
In your estate planning documents, you will need to specify how you want these accounts to be handled after your death. You’ll also need to include any login credentials to access these accounts.
Sentimental digital assets
Along with digital assets that hold financial value, you need to consider digital assets that are sentimental. You may have hundreds of photos and videos stored on your computer or phone.
What will happen to your photos after you pass? Do you want to ensure your loved ones can access them? Will you create an online account where the photos will be stored, or would you rather transfer them to external devices?
Previously, families kept physical photo albums that were passed down the line after a loved one’s death. Today, most people store their photos digitally. Attorney Anthony Candela’s estate planning process allows you to set forth your wishes regarding how these assets will be distributed.
Social media has transformed the way people stay in touch and get their news. Instead of publishing obituaries in the local newspaper, many families are now opting to update the decedent’s social media page to memorialize them.
This is something you might want to consider. It can also help communicate any details regarding funeral and memorial services. Alternatively, you may even want your social media profiles to be completely deleted after your passing. In either case, you can specify your preferences in your estate planning documents.
Speak with estate planning attorney Anthony Candela
Our law firm offers a wide range of services to help families and their loved ones prepare for the future. When you meet with attorney Anthony Candela for estate planning services, he’ll make sure all of your affairs are in order, including your digital assets.
Contact us today to learn more.