Our lives are increasingly digital with the normalization of working, studying, socializing, shopping and banking remotely. That said, many of us don’t really consider what we have stored or purchased online as an asset. It’s very much the opposite and can be of real detriment to an individual owner, with Womble Bond Dickinson saying, “Digital assets often only exist online, so unless you give the necessary information to your executors or administrators (on your death) or your attorneys or deputy (in the event of you losing mental capacity) they are unlikely to know what digital assets you have and how you want them dealt with in the event that you can no longer access them.”
When it comes to knowing exactly what you have, why it’s valuable, and how to manage it, you shouldn’t wait until it’s too late. Current data shows that the average person under 70 years old has more than 160 digital accounts however often they’re the only person who can access this data including items of a sensitive nature or monetary value as with cryptocurrencies. You might not realize it, however your social media accounts, photographs, electronic communications, rewards points, and purchased digital media all fall under the classification of digital assets. Moreover, having thorough organizational systems and itemizing exactly what you have in an inventory will only become more commonplace as traditional banking and asset systems devolve with mass digitization.
This infographic is from I Will Solicitors who specialize in estate planning. They developed this to help ordinary people learn more about this point of imperative action so that their assets can be protected for personal as well as legal gains. Read on to gain a better understanding of exactly what digital assets are and why you need to prioritize these as part of your will no matter whether you’ve prepared these documents before or you’re estate planning for the very first time.