A person may reflect on all of the assets they own and then wonder what will happen to their belongings when they die. Proper will execution in New York will certainly help them to have a plan in place to protect their assets when this happens. However, in today’s society, assets are not merely physical property, such as land or cash in the bank: They can be digital as well. A recent article calls attention to the need to protect digital assets, a virtually new category of assets today.
Most people enjoy logging on to Facebook, their Yahoo mail and other online accounts on a daily basis. However, if something happens to them, not even their beneficiaries can legally access these accounts because sites such as Twitter provide a Terms of Service document that prevents this from happening. This is why a person should plan ahead — so that the right beneficiaries have access to their digital property after they have passed away.
When a person draws up their estate plan, it should now include the seamless transition of their digital assets. For instance, the plan can include security information for different digital accounts and provide instructions for how a person wants their beneficiaries to handle these accounts. Some digital assets, such as family videos or photos, may need to be preserved, while others — such as a record of someone’s online activity — may need to be destroyed for privacy reasons.
Will execution in New York allows an individual to ensure that their property ends up in the hands of their desired beneficiaries. In addition to including bank accounts and houses, a person’s estate also includes their digital assets in modern society. A person has the right to seek legal guidance to ensure that through proper will execution, all of these assets are accessible to the proper beneficiaries in the event of the person’s death.
Source: Northwestern MutualVoice, What Happens To Your Digital Assets When You Die? , Karl G. Gouverneur, Sept. 17, 2013