The internet and its growth over the past few decades may have dramatically changed how you live your life. You may use the internet and digital programs for work, entertainment and to connect with friends and family.
Since internet usage is now so widespread (the Pew Research Center estimates that approximately 93% of adults in the U.S. use the internet), you may have acquired some digital assets. You should account for these assets in your estate plan to ensure they transfer to the people you want after you die.
1. Compile a list
Begin by putting together a list of all your digital assets to include in your estate plan, so your loved ones know what these assets are and how to find them. These assets may include important passwords to social media and email accounts and any digital property you own, like domain names and virtual currency.
2. Back up your digital information
You may store many of your digital assets on the cloud. As you put together your estate plan, back these assets up onto either a storage device or on your computer, so your loved ones can access them easily after you die.
3. Understand what you own
In some cases, you may have only purchased the license to use a digital asset instead of actually owning it. For example, there may be a limited number of times you can burn music onto a CD.
Update your will, trust and other estate planning documents regularly to include your digital assets. Include language in these documents that gives consent to your beneficiaries to use and access the items you own digitally.