You and many other Ohio residents likely enjoy the ease that completing various transactions online provides. Logging on to your online bank account may allow you to stay at home rather than traveling to your bank’s physical location, or you may even have the ability to complete work-related assignments at home rather than having to go into the office. Of course, you can also make your various social media posts online.
While you may not think too much beyond the convenience of these actions, it is important to know that you have created digital assets. Everything from your online photo albums to your bank accounts falls into this category. Because they are assets, you need to remember them when creating your estate plan.
Who cares about old social media posts?
At first, you may think that addressing your social media accounts in your estate plan is unnecessary. However, these accounts may hold personal photos, anecdotes, conversations and other sentimental assets that your surviving loved ones will likely want access to after your passing. If you do not remember to provide information about your usernames, passwords and account platforms, your loved ones may not have a chance to find or access those memories.
My online accounts are under protection, right?
While your online bank accounts, business accounts or other important accounts likely do have various levels of security protection, they can become the target of online hackers and identity thieves, especially if they go unused. If you do not give your surviving loved ones the information needed to access and close those accounts, someone could steal your identity even after you are gone. Additionally, if you handle the household finances online and your surviving spouse does not know the passwords, he or she may end up in a difficult position.
Do digital assets pass on like physical assets?
In many cases, it can prove immensely difficult to determine the individuals who should inherit digital assets. As a result, indicating in your will or other estate documents your choices for beneficiaries could prevent confusion and complications later.
Can I update my plan?
If you have already created an estate plan and did not account for these assets, you do not have to panic. You can and should update your estate plan periodically, and you can include information about your digital assets in your next update. If you have not yet created a plan, you may now know the importance of not overlooking these items.