Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, making it increasingly necessary to have a digital estate plan in place. However, when it comes to digital assets and ensuring they are managed and distributed properly, individuals often have numerous questions regarding the process. That is why, in the below blog post, we will walk you through estate planning for your digital assets in Northern Virginia.
What To Know About Digital Assets
According to Virginia laws, a digital asset is an electronic record in which a person has an interest or right.
In other words, digital assets can encompass a wide range of electronic files that are stored on mobile devices, personal computers, or on the internet. It is also worth noting that the definition of digital assets is constantly evolving as new digital formats emerge.
Common Examples of Digital Assets
Although there are various examples of digital assets, some of the most common types include the following:
- Digital media (books, videos, and music)
- Electronic communications (text messages and emails)
- Laptops, flash drives, and other electronic storage devices
- Digital storefronts, such as eBay
- Information that is stored electronically, including computer files or digital photos
- Online credit cards
- E-commerce accounts and shopping accounts
- Subscriptions accounts
- Online saving and checking accounts
- Digital wallets
- Blogs and websites
- Social media accounts
- Digital currency
- Travel rewards
- Data from smartphones
- Digital collections
- Gaming accounts
- Cell phone apps
- Online video channels
- Loyalty program benefits
Virginia Laws Regarding Digital Assets
Virginia Code’s Article 3.1, also known as the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, provides guidelines on how to safeguard your digital accounts after you pass away. The Article was enacted in 2017 and allows your personal representative, trustee, or agent under a power of attorney to handle and manage your digital assets. The act also allows you to restrict access to your electronic communications, such as emails and texts.
Why Should You Worry About Granting Access To Your Digital Assets?
Countless stories exist of loved ones who have been denied access to important accounts or emails after their family member has passed away.
The last thing you want to happen is for your family to lose their ability to access digital items that have sentimental value, such as your digital photos or videos, emails, and even social media posts, after you pass away or become incapacitated. You also want to ensure that your financial digital assets, such as your online banking accounts or investments, are distributed to the correct individuals after you are gone.
Thankfully, you can avoid all these issues by making a plan regarding your digital assets. This process will not only ensure your loved ones and key individuals have access to your important digital information, but it will also give you peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out.
Contact Ardent Guardian Today and Learn More About Keeping Your Digital Assets Safe
If you want more information about keeping your digital assets safe in Northern Virginia, contact Ardent Guardian today. Our legal team can review your options, go over all your questions and concerns, and discuss with you how to best safeguard your interests.