A typical New York resident who is under the age of 70 has up to 160 digital accounts. Therefore, it is important to consider digital assets such as email accounts, website content or brokerage accounts when creating an estate plan. An individual may opt to consolidate all of his or her digital assets into an online vault that he or she can manage personally. Alternatively, it may be possible to delegate the task of managing digital assets to a professional.
A professional online asset vault manager may be able to oversee, close or transfer accounts after an individual passes. There are many benefits to keeping accounts in one location that only an executor or other trusted person has access to. For instance, it may prevent criminals from hacking into or otherwise taking over a bank account or social media profile. Furthermore, knowing where an asset is helps to ensure that it gets passed to its intended beneficiary.
Keeping digital property in one place means that an executor won’t have to spend a significant amount of time searching for them. Finally, having a list of bank and other account information handy may ensure that an estate’s bills are paid in a timely fashion. Those who choose to manage assets on their own are encouraged to keep a list of what they own and update it regularly.
Those who are concerned about what might happen to their digital assets after they pass may want to speak with an estate planning attorney. An attorney may be able to help a person appoint a digital property executor to close or memorialize a social media profile or website. Accounts may also be transferred through beneficiary designations or per instructions that are left in a will or trust.