MANAGING YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS AFTER DEATH

We value our real property assets, from our homes to our jewelry and cars. What value would you place on your social media assets, though? This issue is becoming a hot topic in the world of estate administration, as social media lives on even after its originator passes. Attorneys are encountering an increasing population of Baby Boomers and other clients who want to preserve their online presence for posterity.

South Floridians continue to join online networks in droves, prompting important questions for estate planning. Clients need to consider whether they want their family members to continue monitoring and maintaining their social sites after their deaths. Some relatives are already stepping up to maintain Facebook and other profiles, but you might need to spell out your wishes in your estate plan if you want specific steps taken to preserve your online heritage.

Indeed, digital assets are gaining an increasing amount of legitimacy among probate attorneys, many of whom have begun to ask clients about their intentions for their online presence after death. Your blogs, photos and social media pages could be at risk if you do not explicitly describe your wishes for these digital holdings. Cloud storage and email accounts can also be included in this list of digital assets.

In some cases, you might want to make sure that those assets “die” with you; after all, your relatives might not need access to all information contained in your personal email accounts. Your content is almost guaranteed to be deleted if you fail to name a responsible party, however, or a statement that underscores the importance of including digital assets in your estate plan. Help your family by including explicit plans for your social media assets. These legal documents can help relatives turn your assets into memorial pages, among other desirable actions.

Consult a qualified probate attorney to learn more about your options for digital asset transfer. These professionals can help you protect your holdings through reliable legal documentation.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.