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Digital assets and estate planning

People can use an estate plan to ensure that their assets are handled according to their wishes. However, assets can include more than just traditional liquid money and real property, As the world becomes more digitalized, Georgia residents should make sure that their estate planning also addresses digital assets.

When it comes to estate planning, there are a number of difficulties that can arise with digital assets. For starters, it can be difficult to locate digital assets online. When they are located, access to the online assets can be difficult. It is generally necessary to know the username and password that protects them in order to gain access. There are also complications with the ownership of online assets, which may not be defined as well as rights to traditional assets.

Digital assets include the valuable data that is stored on physical devices such as iPhones or computers. Typical examples of digital assets include software programs, blog posts, e-mail accounts, cryptocurrencies, online photos and websites.

Digital assets have real monetary value. According to a study conducted by McAfee, the average person worldwide had more than $35,000 in digital assets in 2013. Americans averaged more than $55,000 in digital assets.

There are also lifestyle or sentimental benefits attached to digital assets. For example, emailed communications or online photographs can hold sentimental value to loved ones, even if the assets have no substantial financial worth.

An attorney who practices estate planning law may evaluate the assets and goals of a client. Depending on the situation, legal counsel may recommend certain types of estate planning devices to make sure that the client's assets are handled as intended. Assistance may be provided with drafting wills or the provisions of trusts. A client may also be advised of the tax implications of certain estate planning decisions.

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