Thursday, March 1, 2012

How to Manage Your Digital Estate Planning

When you say "estate planning" to someone, most will think about the usual topics: what will happen to assets like our home, our cars, monies, etc when we pass away. If we are prudent, we have a will as part of our estate planning, that tells what we want to happen to those assets, and we have people to execute that will for us. None of this is unusual procedure, even if a little uncomfortable for some to think about. However, what about our digital assets? What happens to your digital estate, when you pass?
The first step, according to this article on digital estate planning, is to make a list of what your digital assets actually are. How much do you have, in the digital realm, which you wish to have dispersed upon your passing?
Next, after you assess your digital estate, what do you want to do with it? What would you like to have deleted, what would you like to have archived, and is there anything that should have ownership transferred?
Once you have determined your assets and their fate, your next consideration should be whom do you want to execute those wishes. It should be determined if one person, or several would handle your digital estate, keeping in mind who will have the technological skills to do what you are asking of them.
Finally, when you know what your digital estate is and who you want to handle it, then you must document those wishes. Remember, this plan is for when you are gone, so your directives must be clear. There are many online services available to assist with conveying your wishes, although if a low-tech option appeals to you more you can always turn to things like safety deposit boxes.
Though no one likes to think about what will happen when they pass away, a little bit of preparation and estate planning will make things go more smoothly for your loved ones. And as always, the experienced lawyers at Pottstown’s Wolf, Baldwin & Associates can answer your estate planning questions, and help you with your legal needs.

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