In order to properly plan for the disposition of digital assets, one must identify not only who owns the digital asset, but also where it is located and how to access it. An average Internet user has approximately 26 different and unique passwords, creating a logistical and tracking nightmare for estate planners.
While cloud computing and online storage capabilities enable better information storage, access, and sharing, they also present greater challenges for digital estate planners attempting to pinpoint a digital asset’s exact location. Digital assets stored in the cloud are often password protected and categorized by individual accounts (i.e., a user name or account number), which allows individuals to sort and safely access their digital assets. Furthermore, digital assets can be physically stored on multiple servers with a variety of different companies, individuals, and governments.23 As such, the digital assets could be found in multiple different legal jurisdictions, states, or even countries, creating the potential for conflict of law concerns regarding the ownership, transferability, and accessibility of the digital assets.