Tags: digital | assets | estate | plan

MarketWatch: It's Time to Make a Digital Estate Plan

By    |   Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 03:31 PM

When the topic of inheritance comes up, you probably think of things like money, houses and jewelry.

But now that we're in the digital age, a new set of assets has arisen: iTunes libraries, e-book libraries, online bank accounts, PayPal accounts and bitcoins, MarketWatch reports.

Americans on average estimate the value of their digital assets at more than $54,000, according to a 2011 survey by McAfee, a technology security company.

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But not many people have formed an estate plan for their digital assets. "A lot of people haven't focused on it," Patricia Stalzer, Western regional trust services director for BMO Private Bank, tells The Arizona Republic.

Without a plan, your survivors may have a tough time getting to your digital assets. To be sure, even if you create a digital estate plan, the complexity of Internet law may make it difficult for your wishes to be followed, MarketWatch reports.

"It makes for a pretty convoluted state of affairs. I don’t know that there is a perfect comprehensive solution," Sharon Klein, managing director of family office services and wealth strategies at Wilmington Trust, tells MarketWatch.

User service agreements can restrict access to your digital assets.

"Every account you have online has a 'terms of service' agreement," attorney Donald Rolfe of Rolfe Law Firm in Phoenix tells The Republic. "Most of them say they are non-transferable. No one else can use it except for you."

David Goldstein, an attorney with Hymson Goldstein and Pantiliat in Scottsdale, Ariz., recommends including your digital assets in your will and designating a digital executor to handle them, The Republic notes.

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When the topic of inheritance comes up, you probably think of things like money, houses and jewelry.
digital, assets, estate, plan
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2014-31-24
Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 03:31 PM
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