Digital Assets Management Estate Planning
Today, we’re gonna talk about digital assets and what exactly they are. Let’s jump right in.
Did you know digital assets are part of your estate? Now, don’t worry if you didn’t consider digital assets part of your estate when you made your will or trust. Most folks don’t think about it.
So, first, what is a digital asset? They include your photos, yes, all of those selfies are digital assets; files stored in the cloud or on your local computer, virtual currency, like Bitcoin; the websites you own, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and all your social media profiles; backups on Google Drive or iCloud or Google Photos, digital business documents, and some digital things, stuff that we haven’t even thought about yet.
These assets can have real value. We had a client, or we have a client, that started their own company six years ago. Now, at the time she started her company, she bought her domain name, also known as a website, and she probably paid around $10 on GoDaddy, not sponsored, for the name of her website.
Well, she has been fairly successful, and a recent audit showed that just the name of her website, not including any of the content, we are just talking about the name of her website is now, six years later, worth over $5,000.
So, digital assets are now something you really need to think about. Whether you want to think about it or not, your estate now includes your digital assets, just like family heirlooms and family photos. For the business digital assets, businesses may adopt a few solutions such as ServiceNow asset management solution or similar services that can keep their data secured. These aids can ensure that your business assets like websites and software get regularly licensed and reduce financial, operational, and legal risks. Additionally, if you have a website, you may need to hire experts from website services who can manage your site and keep it updated at all times. Ensuring this can also be a part of asset management as well. As for personal assets, you may have to look for other solutions that can ensure your private information stays secured from any malicious activities.
You know, in the not too distant past, we would all keep photo albums. When someone went on vacation, when they got back, they usually would have people over for dinner to view their vacation photos, or, sometimes, even a slideshow. Do you remember those days? I do. Now we all do this instantly on social media, and share our videos on YouTube. So, here are three items to think about and to review.
First, inventory your digital assets. Make a list of every online account that you use. If you run a business, don’t forget spreadsheets, digital records, client files, databases, and other digital business documents that you have. If it exists on the internet, connects to, or pertains to the internet, put it on the list for your attorney and your trustee.
Second, designate a cyber successor trustee. Just like I always tell you to put a lot of thought into your successor trustee and your power of attorney, your cyber trustee should be someone who you also trust implicitly. Remember, when we are talking about estate planning nowadays, we are not just talking about what happens when someone passes away. The big concern is what happens when you are living and possibly incapacitated. You still have all these digital assets. So, we need to make certain that your cyber trustee has access to all of your accounts, and can act on your behalf in regards to these digital assets.
Third, make a digital plan. You may want to put some of your digital assets into a trust, or even include specific access in a power of attorney document. So, you should consult with an estate planning attorney to determine the best way to determine your successors, trustees, and your beneficiaries of your digital assets.
Just like the example that I gave earlier of a website that increased from $10 to $5,000, today, your digital assets have real value, and that value does not necessarily need to be monetary. Remember, we don’t keep paper photo albums anymore or store our vacation videos on a shelf on a VHS tape anymore. We, you, might want your family to have access to your Facebook profile or your Google Photos so that they can download their family legacy.
If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free consultation. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all.
If you got value today, then please do me a favor and hit the Like button below; I would really appreciate it. And to get you started, please download our Estate Planning Strategies Guide. I’ll put a link in the description section below and also in the comment section. Well, that’s all for today. Have a great day, and as always, have an awesome week. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see ya again next time.