How to Incorporate Digital Assets into your Estate Plan

by | Feb 28, 2018 | Articles

Traditionally, estate planning attorneys have discussed how to handle the typical assets owned by an average individual.  These usually include cash, bank accounts, real estate, and personal property.  In the digital age, our digital assets and online profile have real-world value, beyond the personal value.

What are digital assets?

The definition varies and includes a wide range of intangible property which exists exclusively online or in our personal devices.  Digital assets differ from a bank account or brokerage account. There are few-to-no laws or government agencies overseeing the management regulation of digital assets.  A digital asset can range from cryptocurrencies to online profiles in computer games such as World of Warcraft® or Call of Duty®. Surprisingly, such online profiles sell in private transactions for thousands of dollars.

Crypto Currencies

Digital AssetsCrypto Currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin can range in value and can be highly volatile. The volatility is such that the value can go up or down by thousands of dollars in a day.  These currencies are often held in accounts through companies such as Coinbase and can be easily exchanged for dollars, or used to buy goods through many online companies.

Digital Photos, Videos, and Media

Original photos on a personal computer, phone, tablet, cloud storage, or social media have not only sentimental value but can sometimes have monetary value.  People who manage to attract a large following on Twitter and Instagram through a highly curated collection of photos and videos can have an account worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to advertisers or companies for which they promote products.

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