Does your family know how and where to access sentimental family treasures such as digitally scanned family photos? How about your online bank, credit card, and investment accounts, investment. How about your social media accounts and your other “digital assets“?
Unfortunately, current property, contract, and probate laws do not adequately address the category of assets known as “digital assets.”
Many individuals store important records online and do not maintain paper copies. This can make it extremely difficult to inventory their assets following their death or incapacity. Their mail and hard-copy documents might not include such items as their bank and brokerage statements, tax returns, checkbook registers, credit card bills, and loan records. This means those persons responsible for inventorying, managing, and distributing their digital assets may be unable to locate and gain access to needed assets.
For all of these reasons, it is important that individuals inventory and provide a means of access to their digital assets. Consider the following:
1) Creating an inventory of their digital assets, including websites, blogs, social media accounts, and online sites where their documents, financial information, photos, and other files are stored.
2) Listing account information for each inventoried digital asset such as the domain name along with their username and password.
3) Providing the means to manage and distribute digital assets, and designating the individuals to receive each digital asset following their death.
4) Talking with their attorney about how best to handle the management and ultimate disposition of their digital assets.
Paul J. Dunn, Attorney at Law
Arizona Estate & Trust Law, Plc
379 Summit Pointe Drive
Prescott, AZ 86303