We have entered a digital age but are living in a paper world when it comes to estate planning.
So as we are reviewing our own estate planning documents for the looming changes ahead on January 1, 2013, we simply can’t ignore that the way we get, use and store our information has fundamentally changed.
Technology has made the world we live in largely digital. So it should be said that our “online lives” need to be included in our estate plans. We have to remember that we aren’t only protecting our tangible assets, but also our digital ones.
So, have you planned your estate to account for your “digital assets”?
If you have not, then you are leaving a big estate mess for your loved ones to clean up. This was the subject of a recent Forbes article titled “You Just Locked Out Your Executor And Made Your Estate Planning A Monumental Hassle.”
The original article offers an expansive look at all of the digital assets to consider, as well as many ways making your assets “digital” can be helpful. Here’s the most important warning from the article: to enable your beneficiaries and your executors to secure your digital assets and square away everything from bank accounts to twitter accounts, you must provide your passwords. Thereafter, the sky is the limit!
If you are a tech-savvy, then likely you can think of new ways to make technology work for you. For example, there are new services that even allow you to store your living will online, providing easy access by your doctors. Furthermore, even simple data storage capabilities become meaningful when you realize that the entire family photo collection can be turned into something every family member can “hold” and view with pleasure on demand – once it’s digitized.
Your digital well-being ought be secured just as much as your non-digital assets, so don’t forget to make proper plans and take advantage of the evolving technology.
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Reference: Forbes (October 18, 2012) “You Just Locked Out Your Executor And Made Your Estate Planning A Monumental Hassle”