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Estate planning has differed drastically over the course of the past few decades due to the technological boom. As such, the assets included in your estate plan will be much more expansive. As a digital asset is treated like other property, you’ll want to ensure you include these in your will and testament to protect yourself and provide for your loved ones after your passing. The following blog explores what assets you should include and how a Washtenaw County wills attorney can help you navigate the complexities of estate planning.

What Constitutes a Digital Asset?

A digital asset generally includes any form of technolgoy or online data with value. However, as with anything, value is often subjective based on the item in question. For example, any cryptocurrency has monetary value, while photos on a computer of a retirment party have sentimental value to the owner and others. As such, these should be included in the estate planning process.

Generally, assets include external hardware, such as:

  • External hard drives
  • USB sticks
  • Computers
  • Cameras
  • Memory card

However, they also include other belongings, including:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Books
  • Nonfungitble tokens (NFTs)
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Illustrations
  • Social media accounts
  • Online bank accounts
  • Emails
  • Online stores

It’s important to understand that the value of the items stored on an external piece of equipment is separate from the actual piece of hardware.

How Can I Protect These Assets in My Estate Plan?

You’ll want to include these assets in your estate plan just like any other piece of property. To do so, you’ll need to create a digital asset provision for your will. This will dictate how you want your assets and accounts handled by your executor.

However, you’ll want to make this process as simple as possible to help provide peace of mind. This includes taking an inventory of all your accounts and their log-in information. Creating a list also allows you to close out any accounts that are no longer in use and update the information in the accounts.

You’ll want to include this list of accounts and information in your provision, along with any additional instructions on how to access the accounts. This includes security questions and two-factor authentication steps.

Aside from the information about accessing accounts, you’ll need to include what you would like to happen to these assets. For example, if you run an online storefront, you may want one of your children to take control of the business.

As you can see, estate planning is a complex process that becomes more confusing when you consider digital assets. That’s why it’s important to enlist the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. At Collis, Griffor & Hendra, our dedicated legal team can help you through this process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can guide you.

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