For the safety of our clients and staff, and as required by law, all Ettinger Law Firm offices are closed until we are permitted to reopen.

Please be assured that all staff is currently working remotely and are available to you by email or phone.

All staff will be checking their phone and email messages daily*.

Please call our Director of Client Relations, Pattie Brown, at 1-800-500-2525 ext. 117 or email Pattie at pbrown@trustlaw.com if you need any further assistance.

* You can also use this link to schedule a phone consultation with one of our attorneys.

Advice on Selecting a Digital Asset Guardian

As time passes, an increasing number of people are finding out that they have digital assets as part of their estate plan. No matter if it’s audible content, digital documents, or social media page, however, it is often critical to appoint someone who can properly look over these assets in case something happens to you.

 

As a result, this article reviews some of the important steps that you should follow when selecting a person who will manage your digital assets.

 

# 1 – Understand the Importance of an Asset Guardian

 

Now that many people’s lives involve some type of computer or smartphone, it is important to also make decisions about how digital assets will be handled in case something happens to you.

 

Like most estate planning, deciding on an asset guardian now helps to make sure that your assets are properly distributed in the future, which can provide peace of mind about the future of your estate.

 

# 2 – Understand what Will Happen if No Guardian is Appointed

 

It was once thought sufficient to merely list a person’s usernames and passwords for digital accounts as part of estate planning. If a third party accesses this information, however, they may be able to access your accounts even if this is against your wishes.

 

In other situations, passing on digital assets in list form can even lead to tresspassatory charges for the person who is left to manage your accounts. Instead, it is often a much better decision to name someone who can manage digital assets as part of your estate plan.

 

# 3 – It Is Easier than Ever to Name a Digital Guardian

 

Some digital providers have begun to offer new tech savvy ways to name an authorized users for account.

 

Google’s “Inactive Account Manager” tool is just one of the most recent innovations through a person can authorize another individual to access their account information even if the person can no longer do so. Facebook also has a similar feature.

 

# 4 – Take Adequate Precautions

 

There are some critical measures that can make the management of digital assets in an estate plan much easier. This includes taking inventory of all digital assets that you own regardless of the size of the assets or the complexities involved.

 

It is also critical to make sure that any log-in details for any digital assets are secured in a safe place and that someone you trust is given the ability to access these details in case you die or become incapacitated.

 

# 5 – Consider Obtaining Professional Assistance

 

An estate planning professional can help you manage the numerous complications that arise with digital assets. An experienced estate planning attorney can also review the relevant details of your estate and create a plan that best matches your wishes.

 

As a result, it might be helpful to include these professionals in your estate planning process.

 

Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

 

No matter if it’s selecting a digital asset guardian or deciding how to share passwords with an appointed, there are a number of complex challenges a person can face when planning what will happen to their digital files should something happen to them.

If you have questions or concerns about the estate planning process, do not hesitate to contact Ettinger Estate Planning today for assistance.

Contact Information