It typically takes some time for the law to catch up to changes in technology and society. For many of us, we have online profiles, accounts, or bill payments that play a major part of our life. But how do we take care of these assets if we are incapacitated or transfer them after we die? It’s a question that we need to address carefully when developing an estate plan.
Part 1: Reviewing Your Online Existence. What do you have online? Is it a Facebook account or a Twitter account that you don’t use very often? These assets may not require you to take a lot of preparatory steps. But what about an online bank account? What if you only pay your bills online? The more complicated and important your online existence is, the more steps you’ll need to take.
Part 2: Preparing Your Digital Assets. A good practice to ensure your online assets are properly taken care of is to first collect everything you have. A list of all your online accounts, profiles, settings, and every digital property you have is a necessity. You’ll have to include the passwords and access information and make sure they are categorized so each can be dealt with properly.
Part 3: Transferring Your Digital Existence. You’ll have to ensure there is someone who can take over your online bills, manage your accounts, and be able to access them without a problem. A power of attorney can help you do this, as well as make specific gifts in your will. Talk to your Estate Planning attorney for more detailed information about this process.