Digital Assets Keeping Pace
With ever-evolving technology, it is incumbent on Estate Planners to be equipped with the tools to classify digital assets and draft Wills to accommodate them. It is similarly important for fiduciaries to be able to identify, access, and administer these assets.
So, what is a digital asset?
A digital asset is any digital material owned by an enterprise or individual including text, graphics, audio, video, and animations. Historically, many people have considered digital assets to only include photos and videos, but over the years, we’ve started including other digital files in our definition, such as documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
There are 3 key elements that make any single file a digital asset. A digital asset must:
- Be a digital file owned by an individual/company,
- Provide value to the individual/company, and
- Be searchable and discoverable (usually with metadata).
When you consider online Wills, Powers of Attorney, and your many financial planning documents, it is important to keep them organized online and offline. Much like your everyday password list, we are finding that people now need to make a detailed list of all personal digital property, with corresponding passwords: some good suggestions include:
- Make a list detailing what you want to do with your digital assets;
- Make a detailed list of where your information is stored, with corresponding passwords;
- Formalize your information in a legal document; and
- Make use of tools for digital Estate Planning.
Keep in mind you will need to entrust this information to your Estate Executor. Which does bring to mind the need for someone that has savvy in using the Internet in addition to being a trusted advisor for your Will and Estate.
More about Defining Digital Assets
At Smartwills we also offer our Smartwills Resource Guide which can help you organize and keep these key pieces of information in one central location. To learn more
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.