We don’t mean to alarm you. Okay, maybe a little bit.
You see, when it comes to your estate planning, it’s important to keep proactive and understand what needs to be done legally to keep your estate how you want it to be kept. This means understanding all of the issues – and working with lawyers who understand them even more than you do.
In the digital age, staying on top of the issues can get a little complicated. Estate planning used to be solely an issue of paperwork, file registration, and dotting the “T’s” and crossing the “I’s.” Things aren’t so simple now. But before you feel alarmed (see, we warned you!), know that you can always handle digital problems before they become problems by staying alert and understanding what you’re up against. To help you with that, let’s present 11 digital estate issues that you don’t want sneaking up on you any time soon:
1. Records kept electronically. Estate planning was not necessarily easier with a paper trail, but it can get complicated if none of the records are available except for electronically. It’s important that your family members know where to find your records after you pass on.
2. Computer access. If a lot of your estate planning information is contained on a computer that can’t even be accesses – well, that can present a lot of problems. Avoid that by being sure your computers are accessible after you pass on.
3. Digital property. Don’t forget about your electronic assets – domain names, online sales, etc. – that can be very relevant to the estate you plan on leaving behind.
4. Home security. Home security systems can complicate a property transfer; it’s best to make sure that you leave details about home security systems in your estate plans.
5. Closing of online accounts. What are your wishes for social network accounts? Blogs? Your entire online presence should be considered a part of your estate.
6. Intellectual property. If you owned property of an intellectual nature (say, music or manuscripts) that are saved only electronically, be sure to note where this property will go and how it can be accessed.
7. Bad password saving. If you have fifty passwords to fifty accounts and keep them all in your head, accessing your digital estate is going to be quite the cumbersome task for the people you leave behind.
8. Electronic inventories. Many people forget to do a full digital and electronic inventory before they do their estate planning because they’re not used to the idea of electronic property as real property. Make sure you include these details in your estate plan.
9. Cloud storage. If you have any types of assets saved in cloud storage, you’ll have to note this as well as note how it can be accessed if you plan on leaving anything like this behind.
10. Outdated records. Maybe you do have a digital estate plan in place…and it’s outdated. Make sure to keep your records updated so that this problem doesn’t sneak up on you.
11. Account listings. People who don’t keep track of their full electronic accounts might not have as much control over their digital estate as they might think.
Meg Jones works with a defense attorney Utah has been home to for many destinctive years. They can help in defense issues ranging from criminal to defending digital estates and providind guidance in protecting them for your family.