Estate Planning Lawyer
An estate planning lawyer knows that when most people hear the words “estate planning,” their thoughts quickly turn to property and assets that include real estate, automobiles, stocks, life insurance policies, family heirlooms, pensions, and other monetary and tangible types of property. What most do not think about are the digital forms of assets that virtually all of us are in possession of.
According to a recent study from McAfee, the average person in the United States has more than $55,000 worth of digital assets. These assets are not necessarily assets that can be bought or sold, but the dollar amount is what those digital assets are worth to the person who owns them.
In order to protect your digital assets for future use by your beneficiaries, you need to include them in your estate plan. Otherwise, these assets may be lost, or your beneficiaries could potentially be violating state or federal laws by using them.
Common Types of Digital Assets
Music is not the only type of expensive digital asset. Other forms of digital assets include the following:
- Personal or business documents
- Domain names
- Intellectual property, such as trademarks or copyrights
- Money in online accounts, such as PayPal
- Other types of accounts, such as gaming, social, bidding like eBay, online information storage, and shopping
As you can see, digital assets cover a wide spectrum, and can easily be skipped over during the creation of a trust if your attorney fails to ask you about them. This could end up being a loss of thousands of dollars for your beneficiaries.
Equally important is the personal connection that many of these digital assets bring to your beneficiaries, helping your loved ones live on with a piece of you after you are gone. With more and more time being invested into computers and mobile devices, the average person will direct even more of their assets into digital forms. Currently, the average person spends more time on their media devices than they do sleeping. And this does not include screen time from TV or DVD.
Other Considerations with Digital Assets
There are other issues that should be addressed when it comes to your digital assets, such as passwords. If passwords and other important access information are not shared with family, friends, or beneficiaries, it may be impossible to transfer those assets when the account owner dies. This is why it is important to work with a seasoned estate planning lawyer when drawing up your estate plan. With so many different areas that may need may need to be addressed, it can be easy to overlook something that could end up causing quite the headache for your beneficiaries in the future.
Contact an Estate Planning Law Firm Today
If you would like more information about putting together your estate plan, make sure you speak with a lawyer who is skilled and knowledgeable in estate law. Call an experienced attorney, like an estate planning lawyer from a law firm like Carpenter & Lewis PLLC.