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Digital assets and estate planning

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Uncategorized

For many of us, the idea of digital assets may seem foreign, but if we access anything online with a username and password, those are digital assets. Of course, we recognize brokerage and bank accounts, but all of those accounts that have a username and password qualify.

Digital assets

Digital assets include the obvious, NFTs and cryptocurrencies, but it also includes social media accounts, emails, etc. Again, anything with a username and password is a digital asset that must be planned for in an estate plan.

But, one just need to list usernames and passwords, right?

Maybe, but maybe not. Unless one’s state has passed the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital assets Act, even a named executor may not be able to legally access those accounts. Of course, one should leave a list of accounts with usernames and passwords, but also ensure that the RUFADAA access is set up in one’s account. In addition, ensure that one’s financial power of attorney includes granting access to these online accounts, specifically.

Think about what one wants their digital afterlife to look like

For one’s social media accounts, often, their loved ones want to keep it active and still communicate with it. If one is a celebrity, they may want to even keep it active to continue to generate revenue. Though, for the rest of us, keeping it active is more of a cathartic reaction for our families; a way to keep a piece of us around. Though, we may not want all of our digital accounts to survive. And, for those, we need to specify in the POA and will that the executor should delete these accounts.

Planning transfers

For those digital assets that have monetary value (cryptocurrencies, NFTs, etc.), ensure those assets are included in the estate plan. They should be transferred to beneficiaries. But, control of those non-monetary digital assets should also be planned. The executor could control one’s Facebook page, but may it would be better for one’s spouse, brother, sister, etc. to be in control. The point is, for Terrell, Texas, residents do not forget about one’s digital life because we do not want more zombies.