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Monday, July 10, 2017

Be Sure Your Estate Plan Includes Your Digital Assets

How can I ensure my estate plan includes my digital assets?

In the past decade, banking and finances have moved to the digital realm.  Most companies offer you the option of electronic statements, online bill pay, and electronic auto payments.  These methods are more environmentally friendly and potentially time-saving, but moving all of your assets and accounts online can lead to challenges in estate planning.  Our North Carolina estate planning lawyers offer some tips for including your digital assets in your estate plan.  

Assisting Your Heirs in Managing Your Digital Assets

When all of your bank account details are online, it can make it difficult for successors or family members to manage your bills and finances in the event of your death or incapacity.  A central goal of your estate plan should be to make the estate administration process as easy as possible.  This includes making it simple for heirs to manage and take control of your assets when the time comes.

To aid your heirs, your estate plan should include vital information about your digital assets.  Your will or trust must include facts such as where your assets are held, what bills are auto-paid and when, your online account log-in and password, and more.  This central information will make the transition for your loved ones more seamless.

Federal law does not yet regulate digital property, but many states have taken steps to govern this field through adoption of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act or laws like it.  The Act establishes a process for allowing your power of attorney, executor, or trustee, to access your online accounts after your death.  You can also designate some of your accounts as off-limits after your death.  

Banking data is not the only online asset that your heirs will need to access.  Today, most of us have social media accounts.  Our social media presence may include photographs, videos, and much more.  Your social media accounts are likely password protected, leaving your family members without access to these accounts, unless you include this information in your estate plan.  You can guide what your heirs do with your digital accounts by providing a detailed digital asset plan.  Your plan should address what you want done with your digital assets upon your death, as well as providing your heirs with the information they need to carry out your wishes.


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Monk Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Charlotte, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and the surrounding areas.



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| Phone: 803-594-4453
13315 Carowinds Blvd., Suite Q, Charlotte, NC 28273
| Phone: 704-369-9977

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