If you are in the midst of drafting your will, you most likely realize that it is a multi-faceted process. However, your estate may be even more involved than you think. If you own a computer, smartphone, or another piece of technology, then you most likely have a digital estate as well. If this applies to you, then you must start planning accordingly. Here are some of the questions you may have regarding your digital estate:
What are some examples of digital assets?
There are several different types of digital assets, so it is important you determine all that you have and put it in writing. Here is a list of some of the digital assets you may have:
- Computing hardware, such as laptops, tablets, digital cameras, and more
- Data packages
- Intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrighted materials, business secrets, or patents
- Data that is stored online, on a cloud, or on a physical device
- Domain names
- Online accounts, such as shopping accounts, emails accounts, or social media accounts
- Audiovisual media, Word documents, spreadsheets, illustrations, and logos
What is a digital executor?
Essentially, your digital executor is the person you appoint to carry out your wishes regarding your digital assets at the time of your death. In most states, a digital executor is not a legally binding position, however, you may instruct the executor of your estate to appoint a digital executor in your will. You will have to provide your digital executor with all your logins and passwords, so it is very important that your digital executor is someone you trust.
How may a digital estate plan benefit me or my family?
By creating a digital estate plan, you help your family’s transition go as smooth as possible. If you have gathered all your digital assets and provided your family with instructions regarding those assets, you save them the trouble of wading through your data to find the necessary information. Additionally, creating a digital estate plan will help avoid identity theft. You should also know that some of your digital assets may have financial value. If this is the case, then your digital assets may need to be reported or submitted to probate. This is why it is so important you retain an experienced attorney who knows all the essential elements of the will-writing process. A knowledgeable attorney will help you secure your assets.
Contact our New Jersey firm
Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.