Computers and the internet have simplified life in many ways. Daily activities, from paying your bills to catching up with old friends, are easily accessible from the comfort of your home. However, modern technology has also created some new concerns when it comes to estate planning.
If you have a computer and internet access, you probably have digital assets you need to consider in your estate plan.
What are digital assets?
A digital asset is any digital content you own that has value. Some have monetary value, such as cryptocurrency. Others have sentimental value, such as personal photos.
Other examples of digital assets include:
- Music and audio files
- Social media accounts
What is the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA)?
The majority of U.S. states, including New Hampshire, have adopted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. This means that a person you have appointed to manage your estate, such as an executor, trustee or conservator, can access and manage your digital assets.
Under the RUFADAA, your executor must obtain a court order to access digital assets and can not access private communications, such as emails, unless you have specifically authorized him or her to do so.
How can you include digital assets in estate planning?
Getting a court order to access your online accounts can be time-consuming. You can avoid the need for a court order by making your own plan.
In your will, you should authorize your executor or another trusted person to handle digital assets. Create another document, separate from your will, that includes instructions on accessing and handling your digital accounts.
Considering your digital assets in your estate planning ensures that your family can access vital information while safeguarding your privacy.