Estate Planning Today Must Include Digital Assets and Social Media

Estate Planning Today Must Include Digital Assets and Social Media

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Estate Planning
“I was very impressed with Tara after our first assembly. She is nicely versed on her topics and made complicated issues quite simple. I would suggest her to anybody in search of an lawyer in her area.”
“I have had the chance to interview Tara extensively and have already really useful her to a monetary adviser searching for an property planning lawyer for his purchasers requiring belief and property work. I would advocate Tara once more based mostly on her honesty, work ethic, skilled community and how she interacts with folks.”

It wasn’t very way back that we had solely paper for monetary and tax data. We might merely level to a file cupboard or drawer and inform somebody, “Everything is in there when the time comes.” But now we now have computer systems and the web, and a lot of our lives is on-line. Unless we embody our digital belongings and in our property planning, our household or administrator could not be capable to discover vital paperwork.

For instance, when you scan paperwork or obtain monetary statements electronically, another person could not even know these exist. If you employ a program like Quicken or Quickbooks and tax preparation software program, these information are in your laptop. pages, blogs, electronic mail accounts and photographs saved digitally on a pc or a web-based account will surely have particular that means to your loved ones.

Much of this info is password protected. Unless we make preparations upfront, relations or directors could not be capable of entry these and the knowledge might be misplaced eternally.

for digital belongings and social media accounts is just like property planning for different property. You have to make a listing of what you could have and the place it’s positioned, identify somebody (with pc and social media know-how) to step in for you, present that particular person with entry, and present some path for what you need to occur to those belongings.

Listing your digital belongings by class (hardware, software program, social media/on-line presence, on-line accounts) will assist make the duty much less daunting. Next to every one, add person names, passwords, PIN numbers and the location’s area identify. Keep this record in a secure place and inform your successor the place it’s. (Do not retailer it unprotected in your pc; whether it is stolen, the thief would have all your passwords. If you retailer it in your pc, password shield the file and give that data to your successor.)

Think about what you wish to occur to those property. For instance, if in case you have a web site or weblog and you need it to proceed, you’ll want to depart directions for protecting it up or having somebody take it over and proceed it. If a web site is presently producing or may produce revenue (e-books, pictures, movies, blogs), be certain that your successor is aware of this. If there are issues in your laptop or laborious drive that you simply wish to go on (scanned household pictures, ancestry analysis, a e-book you may have been writing), put them in a “Do Not Delete” folder and embody it in your stock record.

Closing down accounts which might be now not wanted will assist to guard your loved ones from id theft after you’re gone. The particular person you title as your successor will want a demise certificates to do that. Consider naming this particular person as a co-trustee or co- with tasks restricted to this space to offer them authorized authority to behave for you.

Yes, this can take a while and thought. But, similar to “different” property planning, the extra we are able to do now to place issues so as, the better it will likely be for our households later.


Estate Planning
  • “I was very impressed with Tara after our first meeting. She is well versed on her subjects and made complex problems very simple. I would recommend her to anyone looking for an attorney in her field.”

  • “I have had the opportunity to interview Tara extensively and have already recommended her to a financial adviser looking for an estate planning attorney for his clients requiring trust and estate work. I would recommend Tara again based on her honesty, work ethic, professional network and how she interacts with people.”

It wasn’t very long ago that we had only paper for financial and tax records. We could simply point to a file cabinet or drawer and tell someone, “Everything is in there when the time comes.” But now we have computers and the internet, and so much of our lives is online. Unless we include our digital assets and social media in our estate planning, our family or administrator may not be able to find critical documents.

For example, if you scan documents or receive financial statements electronically, someone else may not even know these exist. If you use a program like Quicken or Quickbooks and tax preparation software, those records are on your computer. Facebook pages, blogs, email accounts and photos stored digitally on a computer or an online account would certainly have special meaning to your family.

Much of this information is password protected. Unless we make arrangements in advance, family members or administrators may not be able to access these and the information could be lost forever.

Estate planning for digital assets and social media accounts is similar to estate planning for other assets. You need to make a list of what you have and where it is located, name someone (with computer and social media know-how) to step in for you, provide that person with access, and provide some direction for what you want to happen to these assets.

Listing your digital assets by category (hardware, software, social media/online presence, online accounts) will help make the task less daunting. Next to each one, add user names, passwords, PIN numbers and the site’s domain name. Keep this list in a safe place and tell your successor where it is. (Do not store it unprotected on your computer; if it is stolen, the thief would have all of your passwords. If you store it on your computer, password protect the file and give that information to your successor.)

Think about what you want to happen to these assets. For example, if you have a website or blog and you want it to continue, you need to leave instructions for keeping it up or having someone take it over and continue it. If a site is currently producing or could produce income (e-books, photography, videos, blogs), make sure your successor knows this. If there are things on your computer or hard drive that you want to pass on (scanned family photos, ancestry research, a book you have been writing), put them in a “Do Not Delete” folder and include it on your inventory list.

Closing down accounts that are no longer needed will help to protect your family from identity theft after you are gone. The person you name as your successor will need a death certificate to do this. Consider naming this person as a co-trustee or co-executor with responsibilities limited to this area to give them legal authority to act for you.

Yes, this will take some time and thought. But, just like “other” estate planning, the more we can do now to put things in order, the easier it will be for our families later.

Eleanore

Eleanore

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