Continuing from our Blog series on Digital Assets, here are a couple ways you can protect you and your family:
Identify your digital assets
You can break them down into broad categories (email, domain, storage, finances, banking, stocks, bonds, securities, taxes, retirement, insurance, credit cards, debts, utilities, businesses, social, media, loyalty and other) and for each asset identify the username, password, account number and any other identifying information necessary to access the asset.
There are many sites to store this information or you can store it to a tangible media source (such as a DVD, portable hard drive or flash drive) or you can simply write it down with traditional pen and paper and keep the information with your important documents (e.g. estate plan, deeds, etc.) Just remember to update the list if you add an asset or change a password. Reconcile yourself to the fact that there will be multiple passwords: a password to start the device, a password to access the operating system, a password to open a document, a password to access a website…passwords galore.
Designate a “digital fiduciary” to handle the asset upon your incapacity or death. Typically, the digital fiduciary would be the same person that is the trustee of your trust or executor of your will or agent under a power of attorney.
The digital fiduciary would be responsible for the following tasks:
- Identify the digital assets (hopefully the list of digital assets you prepared is complete and accessible)
- Copy or Delete information (Preserve important information and Preserve the decedent’s reputation)
- Provide information (Share the information with the estate representative, such as banking information that can only be accessed on-line)
- Distribute the asset to the intended recipient
For additional information and/or questions about digital assets, please contact our Estate Planning Attorney in Los Angeles.