Estate planners say few, if any, of their clients consider digital
assets in their wills—an oversight that can result in real-world losses to
beneficiaries. And experts say the estate-planning industry itself has been
slow to adopt standards for dealing with the sort of "property" that
may exist only in cyberspace.
The digital revolution has meant
that we don’t live like we used to – most of us can’t live outside of a Wi-Fi
hotspot, 4G network, or computer screen for longer than a couple hours. So how
could we possibly plan for our estate today, as they used to before everything
Dealing with digital assets can
be a tricky business, often in ways that aren’t readily apparent. Nevertheless,
digital assets are both vital and newsworthy topics for estate planning. For
example, consider an article by SmartMoney
titled “Protecting You Virtual Estate” and
the similar article by The Wall Street
Journal titled “With Estate Planning, Don’t Forget Virtual
Assets.” Both are worthy of your
Digital assets can range from
personal data held in social websites to intellectual property, or even domain
names. Then again and more importantly, a growing majority of people do their
banking, investing, and tax-paying online. Is this starting to hit closer to
Some aspects of our digital
lives simply need real world planning, especially because few states have laws
in place to account for the postmortem transfer of digital assets. Even if
you’re not a tech guru with websites and special online projects, you wouldn’t
want valuable information to be lost to your heirs.
If you have a digital presence,
then you must plan accordingly.
Contact Meier Law Firm to learn how you can protect all of your assets, including your digital ones.
(July 25, 2012), “Protecting You Virtual Estate”
Wall Street Journal (July 28, 2012) “With Estate Planning, Don’t Forget Virtual