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4 reasons why you should not neglect digital estate planning in California

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning can help to provide insight into how you want your estate to be distributed and managed after your passing. Most estate plans exhaustively cover tangible assets such as real estate. However, a digital estate, which comprises online accounts, digital assets and intellectual property, is often overlooked when it comes to estate planning.

Neglecting to address digital assets can lead to various complications and challenges for your loved ones after your passing. As a result, the following are four reasons why you should not neglect digital estate planning in California.

Digital asset protection

Without a clear plan in place, valuable online accounts, digital currencies and intellectual property could be lost or inaccessible to your beneficiaries. Cryptocurrencies, for example are often stored in digital wallets, and without proper documentation, access to these assets can be virtually impossible. Social media accounts, email accounts and digital files may also contain sensitive information or sentimental value, making it essential to have a strategy for their management and distribution.

Digital legacy preservation

Your online presence, including social media profiles, blogs, digital photographs and creative works, forms a significant part of your legacy. Neglecting to address these digital assets can result in the loss or mismanagement of your digital footprint, potentially diminishing your ability to leave behind a meaningful legacy for future generations.

Privacy and security

Failing to address digital estate planning can leave your online accounts and sensitive information vulnerable to unauthorized access after your death. This increases the risk of identity theft, fraud or misuse of personal data. Incorporating digital estate planning measures helps safeguard your privacy and ensures that your digital assets are handled securely.

Family dispute prevention

Where the digital estate is not clearly addressed in your estate plan, disagreements and conflicts among family members can arise regarding the management and distribution of online accounts and digital assets. Without explicit instructions, family members may have different interpretations of your wishes or may dispute who should have access to certain digital assets.

If you’re considering creating a digital estate plan, seeking legal counsel can provide you with invaluable guidance and help to ensure that your plan comprehensively addresses all aspects of your digital assets and accounts.