Should Digital Assets be Included in My Will?

February 16, 2021

Managing assets and beneficiaries can be very complicated. Even in the best of circumstances, writing a will and distributing assets can be a challenge. In the past, assets were limited to financial and physical property. Nowadays, digital assets are added to the process.

The issue of whether or not to include digital assets in a will is personal and based on several factors. Since digital assets can cover a wide range of digital content from personal social media accounts to high-value assets, the decision of whether or not to include them in a will may vary greatly, depending on the specifics of the assets in question.

Some family members may be denied access to their loved one’s social media accounts. This can be upsetting to a family wanting to maintain important memories. Additionally, a person may want to keep their accounts secure after their death to protect private information.

Digital assets can also be a significant security issue. Digital accounts can allow access to vital information and financial resources. For this reason, it is best to consider how security would be affected if digital assets are included.

The decision of whether or not to include digital assets in a will involves many components and complexities. It is an important consideration and should not be taken lightly. It is best to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer to make the best of estate planning.   

What are Digital Assets?

Digital assets are different from physical ones, they are vulnerable to deletion or alteration. These assets may include passwords, written texts, images or videos, software, and other forms of media. Digital assets can be stored online or offline. One complicating factor when dealing with digital assets is that they may include sensitive materials, such as banking and medical information. This does not mean that only secure and private items qualify as digital assets. They can also include content that is shared on social media or in web forums.

Estate Planning and Assets

When talking about personal estates, assets refer to anything a person has ownership of, such as belongings, physical and intangible assets, land or real estate, investments, collectible items, and furnishings. Estate planning is about anticipating and arranging what will happen with a person’s estate after death or incapacitation. This process takes place during a person’s life and generally involves a will and other legal documentation of how their assets will be distributed or disposed.

In the last few decades, digital content has become normalized. New laws have gone into effect to specifically address digital assets. It is important to note that laws can vary by state, and it is best to consult with a local lawyer to understand applicable local laws.

Media Estate Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients with Trusts, Wills, and Digital Assets

Estate planning is complicated, and when digital assets are involved, the process becomes more complex. Having the right plan is key, and a dedicated legal team can simplify the process. A knowledgeable Media estate lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you find the right estate plan for you. For a free consultation, call us at 610-565-3701 or complete our online form. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.