What is digital estate planning?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Estate Planning |

More and more, the digital world is intertwined with the physical. From the photos you keep of important events to your credit card statements – you have a wealth of digital assets.

That’s why you need digital estate planning. In fact, a digital estate plan may be the only way that your loved ones can easily gain access to your online accounts once you die. 

What is your digital estate?

Your digital estate is anything electronic held in your name, including virtual accounts. This means your digital estate includes:

  • Your social media account
  • Your Amazon, Etsy and eBay accounts
  • Digital media files, including books
  • Your email accounts
  • Photos and videos that you have in cloud storage
  • Website domain names
  • Website domains and blogs
  • Online banking accounts 
  • Online gaming accounts
  • Online investment accounts
  • Cryptocurrency keys
  • Account retrievable tools

The actual ownership of these assets may vary. For example, you only own a license to the books on your Kindle, not the actual books – but you do own the photos you’ve stored on your phone.

What’s the best way to handle digital assets?

Ideally, you need to sit down and list your intentions for all your assets and designate a “digital executor.” While this can be the same person you nominate to be the regular executor of your estate, it may be wise to pick someone different (especially if your regular executor is not particularly technologically savvy). 

To make it easier for your digital executor, make sure that you include passwords, key numbers and the answer to your “secret questions” on different accounts. You should also nominate a legacy contact through Facebook and Google.

Estate planning is constantly evolving, so seek additional information about your legal options.


FindLaw Network