From online banking to social media identities to cryptocurrencies and more, the digital landscape plays a role in most people’s lives in some way shape or form.
When creating or updating a robust estate plan, a person should take all digital identities and assets into account so that their heirs have access to all of these things after they die.
Digital access not automatic after death
As explained by Fidelity Investments, an heir does not automatically gain access to a person’s digital assets or accounts once the owner or account holder dies. Legal consent to any such asset or identity must be provided ahead of time.
Even the simple act of making a list of all login details, like usernames, passwords and passcodes, can help plan for a variety of situations. These lists can be securely stored via several tools available.
Digital-only and hybrid assets
While some assets may exist or be accessible only in electronic form, others may be available in different ways. Forbes notes that a bank account, for example, may be accessed via a mobile app or by making a visit to a branch.
Types of digital accounts or assets to address
A person may initially not think they have many digital assets to worry about but when making a list, the reality often appears. Services that house pictures and videos are completely digital. Music streaming accounts, social media accounts and even email addresses are all completely digital. Few people would like to see their family photos unavailable after one person dies because access to the account was not outlined ahead of time.