Should digital assets be included in an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2021 | Estate Planning And Probate

Over the last two decades, individuals and couples alike have devoted time and energy to building valuable online assets. These digital assets, while intangible, carry significant financial and sentimental value. Most often an estate plan is developed to account for physical assets such as a home, vehicles or the family business, but it is wise to also include your numerous digital assets.

Even though they can be different for every couple based on their online preferences, digital assets can include:

  • Entertainment collections: It is not uncommon for couples to amass collections of books, music, movies and video games that can be accessed through either cloud storage or streaming services. While there is no tangible counterpart, these digital assets represent significant value.
  • Social networking and blog sites: Whether they are blogs, video hosting sites, a personal website, image hosting sites or social networking sites, an estate plan is a good place to transfer ownership so that your hard work does not go to waste.
  • Cryptocurrencies: Cryptocurrencies (including Bitcoin and Ethereum) represent the financial future for countless individuals. If you carry these currencies, it is wise to include them in your estate plan alongside other assets.
  • Online shopper rewards: In a crowded marketplace, online retailers provide rewards programs to shoppers. From discounts and cash back bonuses to gift cards and airline miles, these assets can represent thousands of dollars in value.
  • Online storefronts: From Facebook’s Marketplace to the online bidding store eBay, a digital storefront takes time and dedication to operate. From crafting the look and feel of your personal space to soliciting and displaying customer feedback, it is wise to transfer the fruits of your labor to a deserving loved one.

While the tendency might be to focus on such things as your physical assets and the financial security of your minor children, it is wise to also consider the digital assets and online property you’ve accumulated over the last several years. These assets have become increasingly valuable, and they are worth passing down to your surviving loved ones. Do not hesitate to seek the guidance of a legal professional when drafting a comprehensive estate plan.