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Digital asset protection is critical in estate planning

Anyone with an estate plan is aware of the importance of protecting financial and physical assets. A new category requiring protection that people need to be aware is that of digital assets. Technology has become an increasingly important part of people’s day-to-day lives in Michigan, and the protection of the assets associated with that needs to be a priority when contemplating estate planning.

What are considered digital assets? These assets typically fall into four categories. First is all of one’s financial information and the account numbers and passwords associated with the accounts. Other digital assets include ones that solely exist virtually, such as cryptocurrency. Cloud storage of photos, files and social media accounts comprise a third area, and finally, there are the passwords and account information associated with electronic communications such as email, texts and other electronic messages.

Failure to account for digital assets can cause problems in the administration of a person’s estate. American society is rapidly becoming less paper based. Many people don’t even receive paper statements on bank or investment accounts. If one fails to grant access to the accounts associated with an asset, a court order may be necessary to access the account. This can involve a costly and lengthy legal process.

The world is becoming more reliant on digital technology almost by the day. If one is contemplating creating an estate plan or modifying an existing one, it is a good idea to ensure that digital assets are included. Making a list of all digital assets is a good step to take in preparing for a meeting with an estate planning attorney in Michigan.