Protect Your “Virtual” Property

As more and more of our lives are put online, estate planners are grappling with how to advise clients to secure and transfer their virtual estates — the body of nontangible, digital assets people create and store on their computers and the Internet.

Technology and cyberspace have definitely changed the way we conduct business and communicate with others.  Have you considered how this will impact your Estate Plan? What happens to all of your emails, passwords and other “virtual” property when you are gone?

Dealing with digital assets can be a tricky business, often in ways that aren’t readily apparent. Nevertheless, digital assets are both vital and newsworthy topics for estate planning. For example, consider an article by SmartMoney titled “Protecting You Virtual Estate” and the similar article by The Wall Street Journal titled “With Estate Planning, Don’t Forget Virtual Assets.” Both are worthy of your attention.

Digital assets can range from personal data held in social websites to intellectual property, or even domain names. Then again and more importantly, a growing majority of people do their banking, investing, and tax-paying online. Is this starting to hit closer to home now?

Few states have laws in place to account for the postmortem transfer of digital assets, so careful planning is important. Don’t forget to protect your “virtual” property just as you would your tangible assets. You wouldn’t want valuable information to be lost to your heirs.

You can learn more about estate planning and elder law issues on our website. Be sure to sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter to stay abreast of issues like these that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.


SmartMoney (July 25, 2012), “Protecting You Virtual Estate

The Wall Street Journal (July 28, 2012) “With Estate Planning, Don’t Forget Virtual Assets.

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.