Regardless of whether you currently have an estate plan in place or you’re new to this process or you have not yet accounted for your digital assets, it’s time to address this unique estate planning need. The importance of this undertaking was perhaps best summed up by a 2022 Forbes article entitled “New Estate Planning Rule: Don’t Leave an Electronic Mess.”
Like all estate planning resources, instructions concerning your digital assets will help to ensure that your wishes are clearly known and legally enforceable. But, perhaps more than any other estate planning resource in your arsenal, the primary benefit of a digital estate plan is that by getting your affairs in order now, you’ll be saving your loved ones unnecessary stress, confusion and lost time.
Getting your digital affairs in order
By engaging in digital estate planning, you’ll be able to detail how you want social media accounts, email records, intellectual property that is stored in the Cloud and a host of other assets managed in the event of your incapacitation or death. Without access to clear instructions and permission to access these assets, your loved ones will be left scrambling to unravel your digital footprint and questioning what you want them to do with everything you have left behind.
Also, you’ll want to keep in mind that your plan is a “living” document that will almost certainly need to be updated in the future. The area of law that governs digital estate planning has been evolving rapidly over the past several years. As a result, you’ll want to connect with a legal professional to better ensure that your digital estate planning efforts are enforceable and that they remain legally relevant as time passes.