When you start writing your estate plan in New York, it’s important to remember that not all assets have a monetary value. Your photos, files, videos and everything else that you store online could be just as valuable as your family heirlooms. How do you ensure that your friends and loved ones can access these files after your death?
Tips on estate planning for online assets
When you started estate planning, you might have made a list of your physical assets. You could do the same with your digital assets. Make a list of anything that you have stored online, including photos, videos, audio files, text files, scanned documents, digital art and anything else that you want to pass along.
You should also make a list of your online accounts along with your usernames and passwords. Some of your accounts might have money, rewards points or credits that you could pass along to your loved ones. If you want your loved ones to close your social media accounts after your death, you can include instructions in your will. Some social media accounts have built-in features that deactivate your account after a certain point.
Whenever you have digital assets that you want to preserve, it’s important to talk to an estate planning attorney. The law has few provisions for digital assets, but your attorney may help you understand how to include these assets in your will.
What else can you leave behind in your will?
Since you can access bank accounts, investment portfolios and other assets online, you can designate beneficiaries for certain financial assets. Your beneficiaries override anything that you write in your will, so make sure you review them periodically. An attorney may give you advice on who you should choose to inherit your assets.