As the digital age increasingly takes over more aspects of our lives, assets that hold tangible and sentimental value are not always something you can hold in your hands. Commonly referred to as digital assets, they can take many forms yet hold equal value to physical possessions.
These “e-assets” include:
- Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts
- Business and personal websites
- Professional blog pages
- Email addresses
- Digital libraries of music, movies, and books
- Digitized photographs and home movies from film and video
- Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency
- Frequent flier miles
- Credit card reward points
Successful access requires log-in names and passwords. However, federal law prohibits anyone other than you from logging on with the proper credentials. Designating this important information to a loved one can save both time and trouble. A growing number of social media companies are also trying to make the transition easier. Users can designate a trusted family member or friend to oversee the account after their passing.
For family members struggling with the loss of a loved one, proactive steps in securing digital assets are necessary during this difficult time. The increasingly alarming growth of post-mortem theft often results in grieving family members targeted by hackers whose only interest is stealing identities and profiting off the deceased.
Estate planning is not a “one and done” process, particularly in the modern era of online socialization and commerce. Attending to every detail in assets and inventories help paint a complete picture. As digital assets continue to change and grow, revisiting legal documents can ensure that all data is up-to-date and access to the assets is clearly documented.