In the past, a will typically only included physical items that heirs could touch and claim. With the Internet now commonplace in many homes, the needs of people who are going through the estate planning process are changing. Because a lot of financial documents and other information is now digital, planning for the end of your life has become a little more complex. Residents of Texas might be interested in learning why including digital assets in your will and other estate planning documents is so important.
Including your digital assets in your estate planning documents makes it easy for those you leave behind to know everything they need to know to get your estate handled appropriately. When you are making a list of your digital assets, you should include as much information about them as possible. Bank names, account numbers, usernames, passwords and any other information necessary to access digital accounts should be included in a document. Even items like loyalty points for establishments should be included in your estate planning documents.
Another way you can help those you leave behind is to formally name an online executor. This person will be the one who handles anything that has to do with your online accounts, such as closing accounts or deleting emails that might hurt your family members.
By providing your heirs with the information they need to gain access to any online accounts you have, you will save them a lot of time and effort. You will also minimize the risk of identity theft occurring after you are gone. This can save them even more time and money.
If you are unsure of what to include in your estate planning documents, the advice of someone familiar with estate planning can help you learn more so that your digital assets, as well as other assets, are distributed as you wish.
Source: Fox Business, “Tips for Planning Your Estate for the Digital Age” Karen Haywood Queen, Mar. 21, 2014