Some Texas residents who are planning their estates fail to consider their digital assets. However, over the past 25 years, most people have established substantial online footprints, consisting of things like blog posts, social media posts, business documents stored in the cloud, photographs, online accounts, and other important assets to which their families might need or want access to. Including digital assets as a part of an estate plan might help to prevent them from being lost.
Why estate plans should include digital assets
Many adults have been online for more than 25 years and have created significant amounts of content through emails, social media posts, private messages, and other methods. People also store photographs online, and some store their business documents in the cloud. Other people might have online savings and investment accounts that their loved ones will have trouble accessing if they do not know they exist or do not have the passwords for them. Creating a plan for how digital assets should be handled can prevent multiple problems after the owner passes away.
How to create an estate plan for digital assets
There are several ways people can plan for how their digital assets should be handled. They can create a list of their online accounts and passwords and provide it to their estate planning attorneys to pass along to a trusted family member. People can also designate one person to handle their digital assets or name different beneficiaries of those assets. Digital assets can also be included in a last will and testament. Some social media sites, including Facebook, allow people to memorialize their loved ones’ social media pages so that others can leave messages remembering them after they pass away.
How to handle digital assets is a new area of estate planning. When people meet with their attorneys to plan their estates, they should not overlook their online assets. Planning for how they should be handled and passed to their loved ones might help to prevent problems that may otherwise occur.