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Digital Assets- We All Have Them, But Are We Protecting Them?

Our lives are increasingly connected to the online world. We share our business ventures, promote opportunities, use social media as a photo album to track special moments in time, and even purchase valuable cryptocurrency online. We call these “Digital Assets.” Our digital assets can be extensive and extremely valuable, but how do we properly handle them in our estate plan?

For those of you who have gone through the process of setting up an estate plan, it likely includes traditional wealth and assets like bank and investment accounts, real estate, personal property, and family heirlooms. If your plan does not include your digital assets, there is a good chance this online property will be lost following your death or incapacity.

So what exactly are digital assets?

How do we know if something is important to protect, if we are unsure exactly what it is? Digital assets typically fall into two categories: 

  1. Those with financial value.
  2. Those with sentimental value. 

Both are valuable to families for different reasons.

Digital assets with financial value typically include online payment accounts like PayPal, cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and more), domain names, websites and blogs generating income, as well as other works like photos, videos, music, and writing that generates royalties. Such assets have real financial worth for your children or beneficiaries, not only in the immediate aftermath of your death or incapacity but potentially for years to come.

Digital assets with sentimental value include email accounts, photos, video, music, publications, social media accounts, apps, and websites or blogs with no revenue potential. While this type of property typically won’t be of any monetary value, it certainly holds sentimental value and comfort for your family when you’re no longer around and it is important that access to these assets is not lost or restricted.

Look to us for guidance

It’s more important than ever that your estate plan includes detailed provisions to protect and pass on such property in the event of your incapacity or death.

Feel free to contact us with any questions- we are here to help!

Here is a cautionary tale on the importance of proper planning and protection of all assets: Read this article about a man who threw away $280 million dollars worth of cryptocurrency.