Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

How to incorporate digital assets into an estate plan

The rise of digital assets has drastically changed estate planning for many people. An individual can't simply add a digital wallet to their will as if it was a vacation home in New York or expensive jewelry. They'll need to include quite a bit of additional information so that those assets are quickly handed over to heirs.

While digital assets should be listed just as if they were any other type of valuable, most can't be accessed unless an individual has the correct username and password. That information must be handed over to the executor during the process of developing the estate plan. The executor might also need to access certain websites or email accounts in order to pass along the assets.

Those who plan on bequeathing digital assets to their loved ones should save all access information in multiple locations. In addition to making a physical copy, many experts also suggest creating a digital copy of all login details. The digital information can then be placed on a USB stick and stored in a safety deposit box. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency wallets can be stored entirely on USB drives, and those drives should be treated as if they were physical cash.

Estate planning is a complicated task that often requires professional assistance. A single mistake could send one's physical and digital assets into probate, which will cost family members time and money. However, an experienced lawyer can help a client come up with a comprehensive will that is both thorough and straightforward.

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