Estate Planning for Digital Assets in Rochester, New York

Estate planning is an important aspect of preparing for the future. It involves making decisions about who will receive your assets and how they will be distributed after your passing. While many people think of traditional assets like real estate, investments, and personal property, it’s becoming increasingly important to also consider digital assets in estate planning. In Rochester, New York, the rise of digital assets has prompted many to take a closer look at their estate planning strategies.

What are Digital Assets?

Digital assets are essentially any form of online or electronic property that you own. This includes things like social media accounts, email accounts, online bank accounts, cryptocurrency holdings, and even digital photos and videos. Essentially, any type of property that exists only in a digital format can be considered a digital asset.

Why Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Planning?

Digital assets can be incredibly valuable, both financially and emotionally. In some cases, digital assets may have more value than traditional assets, particularly if you are an influencer, content creator, or have invested in cryptocurrency. Ensuring that your digital assets are accounted for in your estate planning can help to ensure that they are passed down to your loved ones in a way that reflects your wishes.

How to Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Planning

The process of including digital assets in your estate planning can be complex, as there are many different types of digital assets to consider. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your digital assets are included in your estate planning:

  • Take inventory of your digital assets – Start by making a list of all of your digital assets, including usernames and passwords, and store this list in a secure location.
  • Understand the terms of service – It’s important to understand the terms of service for each platform where you have digital assets. Some platforms have specific policies around how your account can be managed after your passing.
  • Appoint a digital executor – Consider appointing a digital executor who will be responsible for managing your digital assets after your passing. This person should be someone who is trustworthy and has experience managing digital assets.
  • Update your will – Make sure your will reflects your wishes for how your digital assets should be distributed. You may also want to consider creating a separate document outlining specific instructions for managing your digital assets.
  • Consider digital asset protection services – There are a growing number of digital asset protection services that can help you manage your digital assets and ensure they are passed down according to your wishes.

It’s important to keep in mind that the laws surrounding digital assets in estate planning are still evolving, and can vary by state. In New York, for example, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA) was enacted in 2016, which allows fiduciaries to access digital assets if certain conditions are met. However, it’s important to consult with a qualified attorney to understand how these laws may impact your specific situation.

One key consideration when it comes to digital assets is the importance of data privacy and security. It’s essential to take steps to protect your digital assets from unauthorized access both during your lifetime and after your passing. This may include using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, as well as utilizing encryption and backup systems to safeguard your digital assets.

It’s also important to keep your estate planning documents up to date, particularly as your digital assets may change over time. Regularly reviewing and updating your estate planning documents can help ensure that your digital assets are properly accounted for.

Estate planning for digital assets is an essential part of preparing for the future. By taking inventory of your digital assets, understanding the terms of service for each platform, appointing a digital executor, updating your will, and considering digital asset protection services, you can help ensure that your digital assets are passed down according to your wishes. In Rochester, New York, a qualified estate planning attorney can provide guidance and support as you navigate the complexities of digital assets in estate planning.

As a law firm located in Rochester, New York, we understand the importance of digital assets in estate planning. At Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC, we offer a wide range of legal services, including comprehensive estate planning services that take into account all of our client’s assets, including digital assets.

Our experienced attorneys can assist clients in creating a comprehensive inventory of their digital assets, reviewing their existing estate planning documents to ensure that their digital assets are properly accounted for, and providing guidance on digital asset protection strategies.

We can also help clients appoint a digital executor and regularly review and update their estate planning documents to reflect any changes in their digital assets.

By working with us, clients can have peace of mind knowing that their digital assets will be properly accounted for and distributed according to their wishes. We are committed to providing personalized and professional legal services to help our clients achieve their estate planning goals.