Managing Your Digital Footprint with Estate Planning

Depending on your generation, you might not consider digital assets as part of your estate. However, the rise of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, social media channels and digital media rights should be considered in your estate plan. Even domain names, blog content and digital photos can (and should) be accounted for.

Here are some tips to manage your digital footprint in your estate plan.

Digital assets and estate planning considerations

Digital assets can be disposed of through wills and trusts, depending on the goals you want to achieve. While some may be worth money, such as digital media rights, cryptocurrency, NFTs and popular social media channels, others may simply have sentimental value.

According to Fidelity Investments, common digital assets include:

  • Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies
  • Blog content
  • Digital accounts in an online betting account
  • Digital photos and videos
  • Digital rights to literary, musical, movie or theatrical works
  • Domain names
  • Monetized online video channels
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
  • Online gaming avatars which may be worth real money

Due to data privacy and criminal laws, you will need to provide consent for your beneficiaries or fiduciaries to access your assets. Make a list of your assets, usernames, passwords, answers to recovery questions and the email address and phone number associated with each account. Make several copies: store one in the cloud, store one with your estate planning documents and consider giving one to your attorney or trusted fiduciary. Then ask James Bart Leonardi, LLC to draft appropriate legal consent language for your will.

Because consent laws are rapidly changing, be sure to specifically allow designated parties to bypass, reset and/or recover your passwords.

Social media profiles and estate planning

Although you may not want to distribute your Facebook or Instagram profile to a beneficiary, don’t forget to leave provisions and instructions for social media profiles. Some people may wish to have their accounts deleted or made private after death, while others would like to take advantage of the “legacy” feature that some platforms offer. Legacy features allow the profile to remain available online, but make it clear the owner is deceased.

Like other digital assets, be sure to leave access information for each account.

Although the digital landscape changes quickly, a comprehensive estate plan can prepare for many contingencies. If you have any questions about digital assets and estate planning, or would like to update your estate plan, reach out to James Bart Leonardi, LLC today.

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