Digital Assets Have More Than Just “Virtual” Importance

February 16, 2015 - Posted by: admin - In category:

taxes - No Responses

Many Utah residents (as well as those who live in other states) have tens of thousands of dollars worth of “digital assets” and far too many have done little or nothing to ensure that such valuable items are protected (both now and later).

Digital assets include music, games, pictures, e-mails, personal files and records, blog entries, movies, TV shows, and the list goes on and on. When you add to this list the many passwords and access codes associated with such things you begin to realize just how much of your life, how much of your property, is tied up one way or another in “digital” items. Even so, very few people are doing an adequate job of protecting such digital property now and likewise ensuring the access, protection and ongoing value of such assets in the future.

What can be done about this? First and foremost, make sure you have a safe and secure list of all passwords, pass codes and other related information associated with all of your online accounts. This includes media accounts, online shopping, online banking and investing, e-mail, social media accounts, etc. If you have not yet started this process, one simple way to do so is to put a pencil and pad by your computer and every time you enter a password or passcode during the next few months, be sure to record your “username” and “password” on the note pad.  After you have collected and recorded all applicable information, be sure to put that note pad in a secure location, but then be sure also to designate a trusted family member or friend whom you will entrust with the location of such information in a time of need.

You would be surprised to know just how few individuals have undertaken the exercise mentioned above and so very many people rely on their “memory” as the sole storage of such information. As we all know, our memories sometimes fail and if something were to happen to us, our memories would not be available to others who might need to access our digital assets at that time.

Matthew T. McClintock, J.D., Vice President, Education, WealthCounsel, has recently written an instructive article on this subject of digital asset planning and protection.  Click here to access Matt’s fine article.

Let us know if you have any questions related to this or any other estate planning matters.

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