Safeguarding your digital assets as part of your estate plan

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Estate Planning |

If you’re concerned about asset protection as you age, it’s important to look beyond the traditional estate planning scope of tangible assets and financial accounts. For older adults, protecting digital assets has become an essential component of comprehensive estate planning. 

Digital estate planning generally involves safeguarding a wide range of digital properties, such as online accounts, digital files and even intellectual property. The following are just a few of the several compelling reasons why older adults should prioritize the protection of their digital assets as they either craft estate plans for the first time or revise their existing asset protection resources. 

Safeguarding value

Digital assets often hold significant financial value. Online bank accounts, investment portfolios and digital currencies can represent a substantial portion of an individual’s wealth. Failing to include these assets in estate plans can result in financial losses for heirs or beneficiaries. Additionally, some digital assets, such as domain names or digital intellectual property, can appreciate over time, making their inclusion in estate planning uniquely important. 

On the flip side, some digital assets have immense sentimental value. Digital photos, videos, social media accounts and personal emails are assets worth protecting, as they may be associated with irreplaceable memories and personal history. 

Minimizing fraud risk

The management of digital assets can also help to prevent identity theft and fraud. After an individual’s passing, unsecured digital assets can become targets for cybercriminals. Securely transferring control of these assets to trusted individuals can protect against unauthorized access and misuse of personal information.

Making things easier for those left behind

Finally, protecting digital assets simplifies the estate settlement process. Providing clear instructions and access information for digital assets reduces the burden on executors and family members who might otherwise struggle to locate and manage these assets.

For these reasons and more, as your life becomes increasingly intertwined with the digital world, the importance of addressing your personal digital assets when estate planning cannot be overstated.