Do you feel like you’re living your life increasingly online? If so, it’s time to start thinking about digital estate planning. Gone are the days when estate planning meant simply deciding who will inherit your physical belongings. Today’s world demands that you also consider your digital footprint – from your social media accounts to digital assets and intellectual property stored in the Cloud.
If you are like most American adults, you pour a significant amount of time into crafting your online presence, shaping profiles that reflect your personality, interests and memories. In the event that you are incapacitated or pass away, these accounts won’t just vanish. Digital estate planning allows you to determine what should happen to these accounts, better ensuring they’re handled according to your wishes.
Safeguarding your interests and crafting your legacy
Beyond your personal profiles, your online activities likely include transactions and financial management. Digital banking, investment accounts and marketplace dealings are now a significant part of the financial landscape and require careful consideration to better ensure that beneficiaries gain access without legal hurdles, preventing possible financial loss or identity theft issues.
Additionally, any digital creations — whether they’re blogs, photographs, or code — are your valuable intellectual property that may continue to generate income or hold sentimental value after you’re gone. Without clear directives, these assets might become inaccessible to your loved ones or fall into public domain prematurely. Establishing a plan can help to secure the future of your digital creations, be it for financial benefit or to preserve a legacy.
Ultimately, digital estate planning is now a necessity for anyone who engages with the digital world. As you organize your legacy, consider seeking legal guidance to better ensure that your digital assets are curated with as much care as your physical assets.