ON YOUR SIDE: Protecting your digital assets if you die

Published: Dec. 6, 2019 at 5:23 AM CST
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We have online banking, rewards points, and even social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. So much of what we do happens online nowadays.

If you were to die do you know who would have access to those accounts?

It’s something more and more estate lawyers are helping people with.

”Digital assets are sometimes difficult to define but can include everything from online banking to social media accounts, reward programs like frequent flier miles, as well as a-currency like bitcoin. And even digitally stored photos and music,” said Matthew N. Schmidt, an attorney at Schmidt, Kirby & Sullivan PC.

Next time you are working on your will with your estate lawyer make sure to talk to him about the digital assets you want to be protected.

”Many online entities have terms of service," Schmidt adds. "That stipulates which account or assets are to terminate upon the user's death. However, carefully drafting estate planning documents to expressly cover digital assets can override these terms of service.”

Working with an attorney you can name a “digital executor” in your will too. This person is different than the actual executor of your will. If you do decide to do this make sure no sensitive information like your users or your passwords is included in the will. When your will is filed to probate court all the information inside becomes public record.