In an increasingly digital world, it is important that you include your digital assets in your estate planning. Digital assets not only refers to social media and email accounts, but also your online financial accounts. Here are some tips to help you settle your digital assets.
Create an Inventory of Your Digital Assets
Before you can determine what to do with your digital assets, you need to make note of what they are. Create a list of every online account you have, including subscriptions and memberships. Include the passwords for those account in your list. You also need to note how you want the accounts treated after your death.
You can opt to write out the list on paper, but a simpler method is to create a spreadsheet. With a spreadsheet, you have the added bonus of being able to password protect the document.
It is important to remember that if any changes are made to your online accounts, such as a password change, you need to update your list to reflect the new information.
Choose a Trustee
The executor of your estate is responsible for settling your final affairs, but you can choose a different person to serve as the trustee for your digital assets if you want. The trustee needs to be someone you feel can follow your directions included on the list of assets.
In addition to selecting a primary trustee, you also need to choose an alternate. The alternate can take over the responsibility of handling your digital assets in the event the primary is unable to perform the duties asked of him or her.
Secure the List and Provide Access
Once you have a trustee, you need to determine where to store your list of digital assets. If you have created your list on a computer, you can opt for cloud storage. There are several cloud storage options available and many of them offer free storage for limited amounts of storage.
If you have a hardcopy of your list, you can store it with your will and other estate planning documents. Ensure that it is not easily accessible by others so that your information is protected.
After securing the list, you need to determine how you plan to provide access to the trustee. A simple way to provide access to the cloud storage is to share the login information with the trustee. You can leave your information with your attorney for safekeeping or include it in your estate planning documents.