What’s your plan for your digital assets?
Yes, They Are Part of Your Estate Plan.
What exactly do you have stored on your computer? Tax and financial records? Online banking access? Health information? Business contracts? Insurance policies? Usernames and passwords? Family history? Social media accounts? Hundreds if not thousands of photos? Business correspondence? Personal and business contact lists? Etsy or eBay pages? How about your favorite Pinterest boards, valuable web domains, or the details surrounding that new business idea you’ve been nurturing?
Most of us have become so accustomed to using our computer, tablet or smartphone that we forget how much information (valuable, personal, private) is actually stored on these digital devices.
DIGITAL ASSETS AND YOUR ESTATE PLAN
Try to picture how many metal file cabinets it would take to hold all of the data you carry around with you each day! Why? Because your digital files, like your other tangible personal property, will be considered part of your estate and will need to be bequeathed to someone after your death or if you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your own affairs. It may not be metal files of manila folders you pass on, but it’s still your information.
THE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER
Who do you trust and designate to have access to all of your digital assets when you are no longer on this earth? It’s a critical question to address and one that has legal ramifications.
Simply put, giving someone a username and password does not give them legal authority to access your digital files. Even if one spouse provides login information to another or to a close family member, this is not considered legal authorization for digital access. Instead, it can be considered hacking for anyone to knowingly access a computer or account without legal authorization. There are written statutes that cover this matter. Also, laws and punishment can vary by state.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
Whatever your age, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney for legal clarification about ownership of your digital assets and for guidance in appointing a guardian or custodian of such assets as part of your will. You should also contact your financial advisor to discuss digital estate planning and steps you can take now to get your digital life in order and to help keep it that way, including: developing an inventory of accounts, usernames and passwords; cleaning out old files and deleting unnecessary or dated information; ensuring the security of private data, and more.
LET US HELP
Want to know more about this subject, call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help you take control of your digital assets as part of your overall financial future. It’s one more way we help you look at all parts of your life to FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE®.
At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, funding education, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management. In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.
If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more. Let’s talk. It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review. Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.
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This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.