Like most people, you store a significant amount of personal information on your technological devices, from photos and passwords to financial information. This accumulation of digital information has likely increased over the years as the use of technology and the internet has become more widespread.
According to the Pew Research Center, only 7% of Americans today do not use the internet, so if you are in the majority, digital information likely impacts your life daily. As you make your will, there are certain digital assets to include and some you should leave out.
Digital assets to include
You should include any digital assets that have a monetary or tangible value attached in your estate plan. Examples of these include any funds owed to you by an online store, digital photos or music on your computer’s hard drive, funds in a digital account and bitcoin.
Digital assets to leave out
Many of your digital assets cannot go into your will either because they do not have tangible value or because you cannot legally transfer them. For example, you cannot include social media and email accounts, subscriptions (like Spotify or Netflix) and financial or tax software in your will.
After you die, your personal representative may need to use your digital assets to distribute property, pay bills and perform other functions. When you make your will, give your personal representative the legal ability to access your digital information, like your financial accounts, email and social media accounts, and control it to settle your estate.