One of the most complicated aspects of planning for the future is making decisions about sensitive matters, such as potential medical needs and distribution of assets after death. While these are not easy matters to consider, estate planning is a necessary and important step for most adults. In addition to planning for what will happen to physical assets after passing away, it is also important to give consideration to what could happen to intangible assets after your death, and as these are types of property, it is critical to account for them in your estate plan.
When you pass away, someone will have the responsibility of settling your estate, going through your belongings and following the instructions outlined in your estate planning documents. This is why it is important to have clear plans in place for your physical assets, as well as your digital assets. Failure to address the digital components of your New Jersey estate could result in complications, stress and additional cost for your loved ones.
The extent of your electronic life
When you think of estate planning, you probably think about creating a will that addresses your preferences for what happens to your personal property after you pass away. You can also list your medical care preferences in case of incapacitation or name someone to act on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself. However, you will also want to incorporate instructions for your electronic life as well, such as the following:
- Be clear about giving the executor of your estate the right to access your digital accounts.
- Create a comprehensive inventory of all digital assets and accounts that you own.
- Leave instructions for stopping automatic payments, closing accounts and distributing funds held in all accounts.
- Consider your social medial accounts, leaving your login information so that someone can close them or handle them as you wish.
- Do not forget your hybrid accounts that may involve both physical assets with adjoining digital accounts.
By considering your digital assets in your estate plan, you will be able to create a more comprehensive strategy that will allow you to look to the future with confidence. As you create an estate plan suited to your needs, you may find it beneficial to seek the counsel of an experienced professional who can provide you with insight regarding the most beneficial way forward.