Estate Planning for Digital AssetsAn article on Wall Street Journal has this advice to give: “With Estate Planning, Don’t Forget Virtual Assets.” Failing to include provisions for virtual assets in a will could lead to real-world losses if the surviving spouse or beneficiaries are unable to access the deceased’s online accounts. Here are just a few samples of the digital assets with obvious financial value:

  • Online bank and brokerage accounts
  • Web-based businesses
  • E-file tax services

Below are other kinds of online assets that can also be considered as valuable property:

  • Domain names
  • Blogs
  • Twitter accounts
  • Social-media pages

The article goes on to explain that “as more and more of our lives are put online,” the concern is not limited to assets. Without the appropriate login information, canceling a cable service or stopping automated bill payments would also be a complicated matter. Don’t let your heirs resort to hacking your accounts. Consider maintaining an inventory of your digital assets and storing an updated list of passwords in a secure location. You can also opt to sign up for services such as Legacylocker.com and AssetLock.net, which releases to intended beneficiaries access to online accounts and other virtual assets in the event of loss, death, or disability.

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