How to Prepare Your Digital Estate

While most people write wills and establish someone who will handle their estate matters when they pass on, a lot of people do not consider the value of their digital assets as well. There is a lot to consider when passing on your digital estate, such as which digital assets do you want to be deleted or permanently erased, and which ones would you like saved forever? If you are considering your next move regarding your digital assets, here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the different kinds of digital assets?

There are several different kinds of digital assets you may wish to preserve or delete. This is why it is important you make a list of all the digital assets you own, and then parse out which ones you want to keep. Some of these digital assets are:

  • Data that is electronically stored, such as online data, cloud data, or on a physical device such as a laptop, desktop, or phone
  • Computing hardware, such as computers themselves, iPads, external hard drives, digital cameras, and more
  • Online accounts, such as social media accounts, email accounts, online shopping accounts, and blogs or websites you may have created or contributed to
  • Intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrighted materials, and any other code you may have written and currently own 

How do I choose a digital executor?

Choosing a digital executor is much like choosing the executor of your estate, in that it must be someone you deeply trust with your sensitive information. Whoever you choose must be someone who will carry out your wishes accordingly. You must share your passwords and logins with your digital executor, as he or she will need to access your accounts. It is also a good idea to write down where all your technological devices are located, as your digital executor will need to know where they are.

How may I protect my digital assets?

Since most states do not recognize a digital executor as a legally binding position, it is important you ensure your digital asset’s safety. However, you should know that you may instruct the executor of your estate to appoint the digital executor of your choosing. One of the ways in which you may keep your assets safe is by storing them with an attorney. You may also use online storage services, or place your wishes in a locked file cabinet or safe–of course, you must provide your digital executor with the code to access them.

Contact our Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.