As the Internet becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, estate planning attorneys around the country are advising clients to ensure that they devote some time to dealing with digital estate planning issues. Any time you have e-mail accounts, online bank accounts, social media profiles, or anything computer and Internet related, you will want to create a digital estate plan so these assets are not forgotten about what it comes time to settle your estate. Here are three basic steps you can take now to help make the transition smoother.
Assemble a list.
You should start by making a list of all of your digital assets. Digital assets include anything found on the Internet or on your computer. This includes personal photos stored on a hard drive, tax information, financial accounts or online bank accounts, social networking access information, as well as information you keep on your cellular phone.
Provide for access.
Once you have your list you can then determine whether the digital asset is something you need to preserve and, if so, how to ensure others can access it. For example, you may need to create a spreadsheet that lists each of your digital assets and includes access information, such as passwords, security questions, or pin numbers.
Needless to say, your list of digital assets and the access information you include is a sensitive document, one you will need to store safely. You should speak to your estate planning attorney about the best options available to you that will not only keep your information safe, but will also allow your estate administrator to access information after you have died.