Texas residents may want to consider updating their estate plans with information pertaining to their digital assets. In the internet age, where people maintain vast amounts of information on the web, it can be very helpful to heirs and beneficiaries if preparations are made beforehand that include information pertaining to these assets in wills and other estate paperwork. Indeed, what seems like a small thing now can eliminate a great deal of frustration for our loved ones in the future.
According to a survey conducted by Pew Research, approximately half of Americans utilize online banking systems. Additionally, 32 percent complete banking tasks with apps on their phones. Americans also keep a great deal of other items on the internet, like pictures, text documents and music files.
Online and digital assets may have significant value in some cases, whether that value be sentimental or monetary. As such, it can be helpful to relatives and beneficiaries if the owner of the assets lists them in their estate paperwork and designates who is to be the beneficiary of what. Another important part of this process is to ensure that relatives have access to a list of website addresses and passwords so that they can manage concerns relating to digital assets after one has died.
Taking a few steps now with regard to internet-based assets and online information, rather than waiting until it is too late, can be helpful to beneficiaries. It is also easy for Texas residents to prepare documents, lists and other information. For those with existing estate plans that have not been updated in many years, revising one’s plan to include digital assets could be a great motivator to make other changes that have been waiting for revision as well.
Source: USA Today, "Estate Planning 101: Don't forget digital assets", Eric McWhinnie, May 25, 2014