Have you thought about whether you need to protect your digital assets this year? Do you know how to protect them? Data security is in the headlines, and digital privacy continues to be a hot topic. Did you know that digital assets can be included in your estate planning? Part of securing your digital assets may be planning for the future, and this can be accomplished with estate planning. The following guidelines may help you understand how to include digital assets in your estate plan while keeping them secure in the meantime.
A critical step in addressing the security of your digital assets is protecting and preserving your passwords. We know it can be tough to keep track of all of the different passwords you use to access your different accounts on a frequent basis. One way to keep track of your passwords is to make a written list and keep it in a locked desk drawer or safe deposit box. It should be somewhere you can access frequently, whenever you need to make updates to your list. Remember that the passwords you choose should be strong and not easily guessed. In addition, you should change your passwords often, even if only once a year. Be vigilant in checking on your digital assets to ensure your passwords have not been compromised. If they have, update them immediately.
Is it possible to have your digital assets as part of your estate plan? Yes. There are digital assets that are financial, like a digital Paypal, Venmo, or bitcoin account. Some digital assets are sentimental, like a collection of photographs or videos of your children and grandchildren. Remember, someone needs to be able to access these assets after you pass away. You need to pick a “password person” who can be trusted with your password information and keep them informed of where you keep your password list so they can access it when the time comes. You may also wish to detail who should have access to your digital assets when you write your will or leave your personal representative instructions with respect to your passwords.
Our Stuart estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our office to learn more.