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4 common digital estate planning mistakes to avoid

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2024 | Estate Planning |

In today’s technologically advanced age, people’s lives are increasingly digital, making it necessary to consider digital estate planning when preparing wills and end-of-life directives. However, it is important to understand that the digital estate planning process can be complex and not seeking sufficient guidance can lead to errors.

If you are considering preparing a digital estate plan, it is important to seek counsel from experienced legal professionals to help avoid mistakes such as the following.

1. Poor password management

People often fail to keep an organized record of their passwords and account information, leading to confusion and difficulty for loved ones attempting to access their digital assets after their passing. Without clear guidance on how to access online accounts, important financial and sentimental assets may be lost forever.

2. Lack of clear instructions

Without clear instructions regarding digital assets, confusion and disputes can arise among family members and beneficiaries. It’s essential to provide detailed guidance on which digital assets exist, how to access them and what should be done with them after your passing. This includes specifying which accounts should be closed, transferred or maintained and whether any digital assets hold sentimental value or intellectual property rights.

3. Inaccurate inventory

Failing to properly inventory your digital assets can result in overlooking valuable or significant items. It’s important to conduct a thorough assessment of all your digital accounts, files and online subscriptions. This includes financial accounts, social media profiles, email accounts, digital photos and videos, cryptocurrency holdings and any other online accounts or assets. Without an accurate inventory, important digital assets may go unnoticed or unaccounted for, leading to unintended consequences during estate distribution.

Failure to update

Digital assets, online accounts and technology platforms constantly evolve, and failing to reflect these changes in your plan can result in discrepancies or overlooked assets. Reviewing and updating your digital estate plan periodically is crucial, especially after major life events or significant changes in your digital footprint.

Legal guidance ensures your digital estate plan stays current and valid, offering reassurance that your assets will be handled as intended.