Estate Planning: Protecting Your Digital Assets

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Estate planning involving digital assets has become increasingly important in our digital age. Digital assets encompass a wide range of items, including:

  1. Online accounts: Email, social media, online banking, cryptocurrency wallets, subscription services, and any other accounts that require login credentials.
  2. Digital media: Photos, videos, music, and other digital files stored on devices or in the cloud.
  3. Intellectual property: Websites, blogs, eBooks, software, and other digital creations with potential monetary value.
  4. Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies stored in digital wallets.
  5. Domain names: Websites and associated domain names.

When considering how to protect these assets in your estate plan, here are some critical steps to take:

  1. Inventory Your Digital Assets: Start by making a comprehensive list of all your digital assets, including login credentials, account information, and relevant instructions.
  2. Access and Password Management: Store login credentials and access information securely but ensure your executor or trusted loved ones can access them when needed. This might involve using a password manager or securely storing information in a physical location like a safe deposit box.
  3. Include Digital Assets in Your Will or Trust: Specify in your will or trust how you want your digital assets to be handled after your death. You may designate specific beneficiaries for certain accounts or give instructions for their management or closure.
  4. Assign a Digital Executor: Consider appointing a digital executor, separate from your traditional executor, with the technical knowledge and expertise to manage your digital assets according to your wishes. You should trust this person with access to your digital accounts and files.
  5. Review Terms of Service Agreements: Some online accounts may have specific terms of service agreements that dictate what happens to the account upon the user’s death. Review these agreements and understand the options for managing or transferring the account.
  6. Consider Privacy Concerns: When planning for your digital assets, consider privacy concerns. Some information may be sensitive or confidential, and you may not want certain accounts or files accessible to others after your death.
  7. Regularly Update Your Plan: Just as with any other aspect of estate planning, it’s important to review and update your plan regularly, especially as your digital asset landscape evolves with new accounts, technologies, and changes in your preferences.

By taking these steps to protect your digital assets as part of your estate plan, you can ensure that your online presence and digital legacy are managed according to your wishes after your death.

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Chamber members can have a FREE consultation with our corporate partner, the Law Firm of Figeroux & Associates. Call 718-722-9217 or send an email to to schedule an appointment. Please note that your membership must be in good standing, and you should be ready to show your membership card. Don’t hesitate – take the necessary steps to secure and protect your legacy today.

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