People have many different reasons behind choosing to create an estate plan, the most common being to provide direction about how your assets should be distributed. It is important, but other things are just as essential. If you have young children or a family member with special needs, you may want to create plans for how they will be cared for. You may also want to avoid probate or make it through the planning stage to ensure you qualify for Medicaid.
What people often don’t think about are digital assets and what happens to them after they pass away.
Defining Digital Assets
Digital assets are an important part of life day. They include any online accounts that many of us use on a regular basis. It’s more than just Facebook and Twitter, though. Everything from your Amazon account to your PayPal and Netflix subscription is tied to you and linked to your bank accounts. Many of you probably also bank online, which needs to be considered with your Wilmette estate planning lawyer.
The first thing you want to do is make a list of all your digital assets, along with information about how to access them. If you have a computer password, including that. Those who use cloud storage should include that. List your accounts and all information needed to reach them.
Next, you want to think about how you want those assets handled. Some may have monetary value and require a different process than others. Go down the list and make decisions about what should happen to these accounts if you pass away.
You will want to name someone as an executor of your digital assets. This is the person who will receive the information you are writing down now. They are the person who will be making sure that your assets are handled in the manner you wish.
Until the information is needed, the store is somewhere secure. You could leave it in your security deposit, a safe, at your lawyer’s office, or in online storage. That decision is up to you.
Talk About Digital Assets with Your Attorney
Your Wilmette estate planning lawyer can help you determine how to handle various situations, including allocating digital assets. If you are in need of a high-quality professional to assist you, consider Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Visit us at OrlowskyWilson.com.