Digital assets is a new concept in estate planning, but it’s an extremely important one. We spend so much of our lives online these days that our digital assets have become at least as much of our net worth as our non-digital ones. A study in 2007 by Microsoft found that the average person had 26 online accounts — and that number has surely grown in the years since. Millions of people do most of their banking, investing, shopping and even selling online, and they have accounts with thousands of dollars in them.
The one thing all these digital assets have in common is that you need a username and password to access them. Security experts recommend changing your password regularly, and not using the same password for more than one account. This situation can turn into a nightmare for your survivors if they have to deal with dozens of online accounts, each with a different password.
Online account providers are not legally obligated to provide access to a user’s family, and sometimes it takes a court challenge to get them to open up the account. That’s why it pays to have a plan in place so that your loved ones can access your digital assets after you pass away.
Writing down your passwords and keeping them in a safe deposit box, then granting access to your loved ones, is one way to handle this situation. However, it won’t help if you change a password (or the combination of the safe deposit box) and forget to update your relative about it.
A better solution is to consult an attorney who is experienced in protecting your digital assets, someone who could give you expert advice. Some attorneys will even keep your passwords stored safely for you, and since they are bound by confidentiality rules, you can be sure they will only release the passwords to whomever you designate.
Securing your digital assets is of vital importance in today’s world. For help with this important issue, contact Grissom Law, LLC at 678-781-9230.
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