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Digital estate planning: The basics

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Estate Planning & Probate

Estate planning is a consequential process that involves preparing specific, legally enforceable documents that detail a creator’s wishes in the event of their incapacitation or death. Most people dismiss estate planning as something only the wealthy or elderly need to concern themselves with. However, estate planning is a beneficial undertaking for adults of all ages who are concerned with safeguarding their interests if something unfortunate happens to them.

One of the primary benefits of estate planning is that it provides individuals with control over the management and distribution of their assets in the event of their incapacitation or death. This process includes addressing digital assets, which American adults of all ages tend to possess.

What is it and why is it important?

Digital estate planning is, in a nutshell, estate planning with a focus on one’s digital assets. Digital assets make up an individual’s digital footprint, from online accounts (such as social media, email, and banking) to digital property (like photographs, videos, and personal documents), and everything else that someone “owns” to some extent online. 

Just one of the reasons why digital estate planning is so important is that it helps to ensure qualified access to valuable or sentimental digital assets. By providing clear instructions and access information, individuals can better ensure that their loved ones can retrieve family photos, videos, and other digital memorabilia that might otherwise be lost. They can also insist that certain accounts, etc. be closed in the event of their death. Privacy doesn’t stop being important just because someone is incapacitated or has passed away. 

Digital estate planning can also assist in the smooth transition of digital business assets and a host of other kinds of digital property. It is for these reasons – and so many others – that adults of all ages should strongly consider crafting and maintaining a current digital estate plan at all times.