Throughout Southern California
View Our Practice Areas

Planning For Digital Accounts

While most people realize that estate plans should be created to help distribute physical property such as real estate or jewelry, there is a growing need to consider intangible property. The Internet is increasingly becoming the main storage of our financial lives.

A recent survey from Pew Research revealed that 51% of American adults bank online, and 32% bank using their mobile devices. With almost nine out of 10 Americans using the Internet, there is a strong need to include digital assets in estate plans.

As a recent article in the Wall Street Cheat Sheet titled "Estate Planning 101: Don't Forget About Your Digital Assets" notes, digital assets hold both financial and sentimental value to family and friends, and this should be addressed in the estate planning and administration process. First you must find the person's digital property and identify which digital property is valuable or significant. In addition, there are passwords, encryption, computer crime laws, and data privacy laws to deal with, any one of which can make it nearly impossible to do anything with the digital property.

In order to protect your digital assets, the Wall Street Cheat Sheet article recommends including them in a will or trust and designating a fiduciary to execute your wishes. It also recommends that you should add a provision in your estate plan granting your fiduciary access to your online accounts and data in the event of your incapacity or death.

Completing an inventory of your digital assets is the initial critical step in this process. Include usernames and passwords for your electronic devices, bank accounts, utility accounts, email accounts, insurance plans, and any other significant online accounts used frequently. Also, if there's information you do not want disclosed to family and friends, you should give instructions in your estate plan on how that information should be handled. The will should contain only the instructions on where to find your usernames and passwords, such as a safe deposit box. The article reminds us that even social media websites such as Facebook should be included in your inventory list, if they hold sentimental value.

Think about all of the information you have stored online-plan ahead and talk to an estate planning attorney about digital assets and other estate planning strategies.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Find Out The Difference That Experience And Expertise Makes

Get the peace of mind that you deserve. First, attend a seminar. This will entitle you to a free initial consultation and a discounted estate planning fee. To learn more about our services or sign up for a seminar, contact us online or call us at 866-402-1805. We have offices in Torrance, Orange, Newport Beach, Pasadena and Woodland Hills.

Questions? Contact Us.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Call Now For A Free Consultation: 866-402-1805
  • ${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
  • Main Office: Torrance

    Torrance Office
    990 West 190th Street
    Suite 500
    Torrance, CA 90502

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Orange Office
    333 City Boulevard West
    17th Floor
    Orange, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Newport Beach Office
    5000 Birch Street
    Suite 8000
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Pasadena Office
    790 East Colorado Boulevard
    9th Floor
    Pasadena, CA 91101

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Woodland Hills Office
    5850 Canoga Avenue
    4th Floor
    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Office map
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis on Yelp
Check out Kavesh Minor & Otis on Yelp
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis - Orange on Yelp
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh Minor & Otis - Pasadena on Yelp