What are Digital Assets?
It’s important to remember that there is no current legal definition of a ‘digital asset’ but in principle, when we talk about our digital assets, we mean content that is stored digitally. It’s anything from the personal hardware that we own and the data that is stored upon them, such as computers and smartphones.
The loose definition also covers digital photos, documents, videos, files, spreadsheets – anything else you can store digitally, is an asset.
It’s highly likely that you will have a digital account in relation to finance: your online banking, PayPal and any digital currencies that you hold are all classed as a digital asset.
Why should I include digital assets in my Estate Plan?
It is important to include key digital assets in your estate plan as they could be valuable. We all treasure our family photos and videos as they hold a lot of sentimental value. From a monetary perspective, if we have a balance in our PayPal account for example – this is money that we surely want to hand over upon our passing.
Are there any digital assets that you can’t put into your Will?
There are many digital assets that you may have, but cannot pass them down. Many companies’ digital accounts lease the customer the content, rather than letting us purchase it, therefore you wouldn’t be able to add it to your Estate Plan. A great example of this would be audio content that you have built up over time on iTunes.
Similarly, social media accounts such as Facebook – while belonging to you and you alone – wouldn’t be possible to pass down. You can export your data however, and attain a file of your images.
Making a Digital Estate Plan
The clearest, simplest way to leave instructions in relation to your digital assets is in the form of a written letter.
Not only will you need to state what the asset is and what should be done with it, but you will also need to make a note of how to access the asset if it is password protected.
If you haven’t already, it will pay to get into the habit of keeping your login details in a safe place. There are several online safety deposits you could potentially use, however, if you feel more secure by storing this plan on your own hard drive then you can do that too. When creating a list, it is important to consider who you would like to benefit from the digital assets that you own.
Are you looking for more information about leaving digital assets in your Will? You can get in touch with us for more information, we offer a simple and legal way to make your final wishes clear.