As surely as the sun rises and sets, our modern world is advancing further and further into a state of digital supremacy. Even now, much of the world’s economy is digitally controlled if not based upon completely digital assets. The up and coming generation of entrepreneurs and indeed all members of the society at large will have to consider digital estate planning more seriously than their parents ever found to be necessary.
According to Qld Estate Lawyers, here are 4 measures for protecting digital assets that can and should be taken to ensure the proper management of our digital assets once we have passed on.
Creation of a Digital Asset Plan
The first step of creating a digital asset plan encompasses all the others, but to reinforce the importance of it, it necessitates mentioning anyhow. Along with the designation of a power of attorney and a will, estate planning for digital assets will in the future, be of the utmost importance in the clean and orderly transfer of one’s worldly possessions unto their next of kin.
Whether the digital assets are directly tied to physical, brick and mortar assets (such as digitized financial records or passwords), or are wholly digital (such as software programs and images), they will need to be designated to be under someone’s control after your passing.
A digital asset plan is key to accomplishing this and should be established well before a person reaches their later years, as is also suggested with will writing and power of attorney designation.
Identifying and Locating All of Your Digital Assets
Take time to think of any and all important information or property that you have that is stored in a digital format. This includes email accounts, bank accounts, social media accounts, and any files stored on devices or drives, and all the passwords necessary to access all these items. These are your digital assets, and whether they are tied to something in the physical non-binary world or not, your next of kin may need access to them after you have passed on.
Create a list of these items and passwords, preferably on paper in ink to ensure they are not lost. This list should be stored away safely in a known, yet secure location, such as a safe, with a person of trust, or with an online service specializing in such measures.
Designating a Digital Executor
A digital executor is the person who will serve as the manager of your digital estate upon your passing. This person must be trusted by you and have at least a rudimentary knowledge of how to operate a computer or the devices necessary to manage your digital assets.
If the person of trust you choose to be your digital executor is not computer savvy, they should be shown by you how to access the assets in question. In this way, when the time comes, they will have no trouble making sure your digital assets and affairs make their way to the people and places that you decided upon.
Legalize Your Digital Asset Plan
Because digital assets and estate planning are a fairly new combination in the legal world, many places do not provide legal provision for the management of a person’s digital assets upon their passing. However, some areas do have provisions for such measures to be taken.
If you reside in an area that does have a legal procedure for these designations, you should familiarize yourself with the statutes and take whatever steps necessary to make your digital will a legally founded document. This will ensure that your wishes for your digital assets be made true after your passing.
In the very near future, we will all live the world in which all records and a majority of assets will be digitized. In this coming day, digital asset planning will be of the utmost importance. The new generations of citizens should make themselves aware of this and begin their preparations early for their digital worldly possessions to be managed in accordance with their wishes. Their digital legacy will surely depend upon their success in doing so.