Does Your Estate Plan Include Digital Assets? WRITTEN BY CHRISTIE TOURNET
WITH THE FREQUENCY
that we use the
internet, we continually create, store, and manage digital assets. But, we sometimes forget we are the only persons with access to those assets. So, failing to include digital assets in your estate plan, or authorizing the ability to access those assets could cause problems such as financial or sentimental loss for family members and beneficiaries. Common examples of digital assets include your email and social media accounts; digital collections with music, pictures and videos; business accounts; and online databases. But digital assets can also include other internet accounts and contractual rights. For example, an asset associated with an online account might also be aligned with an online reward program, such as frequent flyer accounts and miles, or credit card points. Still, we caution that airline companies' respective contracts outline if those assets are inheritable or not. And, other companiesâ€™ rules may be buried in a user agreement. Thus, without legal access to such digital accounts, your fiduciary may not be aware of certain outstanding accounts, online contracts, or rewards. We recommend that when you consider estate planning, you incorporate these types of assets when you are considering your other, commonly listed assets during the planning process. Then, you can discuss with your counselor on how to include instructions within Your Last Will, Trust, or Powers of
For voting Kristen Stanley-Wallace the Northshoreâ€™s Best Attorney 2065 First Street, Suite 102 Slidell, Louisiana 70458 14 Sophisticated Woman | September 2020
Attorney to permit your fiduciaries to either access or destroy certain digital assets.
Christie Tournet & Associates, LLC, provides estate planning, estate administration and commercial law services. The practice is located at 1795 W. Causeway Approach, Suite 103A in Mandeville. 985-951-2177, tournetlaw.com.