Planning for Your Digital Estate Plan
Do you ever wonder what would happen to your digital assets when you die? Who will be able to pay your electronic bills, shut off automatic debits to your checking account, or tell your Facebook friends that you are gone? Who would have access to get into your email account? The more we are digitally inclined and have our personal information online, these are the questions that many people still have not thought about when creating their estate plan. Digital estate planning is the process of answering all those questions in advance, so that your survivors can easily wind down your digital presence and continue or discontinue your online and social media presence according to your wishes.
What To Do With Your Digital Information?
The more valuable information we submit online, the more chances we wouldn’t want to leave it behind in the hands of the digital world. We put out so much of our information out on the internet such as pictures, documents, important email letters, messages that was once just in a shoe box. Which is why a digital estate plan is essential to a well-constructed overall basic estate plan.
This time last year a new bill regarding digital assets was signed into law by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. This bill lets you designate a person in your will to have access to your digital assets. The legislation was introduced by State Rep. Anthony Forlini. “Traditional probate law does not currently address digital assets which has left courts, families and technology companies unsure of how to divide and grant access to digital assets and accounts when a loved one dies or becomes incapacitated,” Forlini said in a statement.
The Steps to take when Planning for your Digital Estate:
- Taking Inventory of your digital assets is the first step.
- Security system, computer and phone systems, voicemails.
- Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. . .)
- Smart phones (iPhone, Android, Windows phones etc. . .)
- Shopping or selling online websites (Amazon, Craigslist, EBay, PayPal, etc. . .)
- Bank accounts and credit cards online.
- Consider getting a password vault to store your passwords either in a deposit box or safe.
- Consider updating your Facebook settings, Facebook allows users to choose a “legacy contact.” One important thing to remember is that the online tool that you fill out would override your will, so it is important to make sure it is consistent to what your will states.
- Consider a password manager who you want to be able to take over.
- Take some time to write down clear and comprehensive instructions to each specific website and social media page. The questions to answer would be: What should happen with these accounts if you die? Should they be closed or taken down or maintained in memoriam? Who will inherit them? Who will manage them?
- Contact your attorney that worked on your will and add/make changes to your existing will or trust.
- If you don’t have an estate plan, but you are considering drafting an estate plan, mention this to the attorney that is planning your estate.
Contact the Marchese Law Firm to let us help you Plan Today.
At the Marchese Law Firm, we are experienced estate planning attorneys, who specialize in quality legal services. We do this by handling your case with personal attention to deliver you the best results. If you need any assistance with your digital estate planning, our lawyers can assist you through the process and help you determine the course of action that will be best for you. Contact The Marchese Law Firm today at (248) 270- 2709 for a free consultation.
At the Marchese Law Firm, we understand the importance in protecting your privacy and we never share your contact information.
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