Thank you to Cheryl Winokur Munk for including Directive Communication Systems in an article explaining why protecting digital assets is so important. The Forbes article, “Organizing Digital Assets – A Life And Death Matter” discusses the enormous number of accounts that most folks have and the challenge of managing digital tasks. It’s easy “for some to get lost in the shuffle,” Munk says, especially for people who don’t keep close track of their accounts. That’s pretty much all of us.
Digital assets include banking, brokerage, email and crypto assets, social media, family genealogy accounts, photos, frequent flier miles, credit card points, gaming accounts, business documents and subscription services, to name a few.
Here’s one thing that is not quite correct in the article – many estate planning documents today do include a provision about digital assets, but the provisions are not enough. You may have named a “digital executor” for your digital assets, but the Terms of Service Agreement on the account you opened is binding only for the person who agreed to it – the online platform has no relationship with your digital executor, nor does the law require them to do so.
Two points we’d like to echo from Munk’s article:
- Theft is a huge problem for digital assets. Criminals review death records and target online assets now, in addition to tangible assets. Once your accounts are hacked into, it takes little time to siphon funds or change credit card passwords.
- Undiscovered assets can present problems for executors and heirs. Before the world was online and paperless, executors could dig through boxes of poorly organized paperwork and find out account information. Today, there are no boxes to go through. Locating assets is a much harder task.
If you’d like to spare your heirs and executors or clients the cost and stress of a digital scavenger hunt, we have a proven and effective solution. Visit www.directivecommunications.com to learn how our system works. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.