DGAA bLAWg

Estate Planning in the Digital Age

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

digital assets estate planningFrom bankbooks to Facebook, more and more activities, both business and pleasure, are being conducted over the internet every day. A study from McAfee reports that in 2011 the average American had almost $55,000 in digital assets. These assets can present unique challenges during the estate planning process. They need to be passed on or wound up just like physical assets, but each online service has its own rules on handling accounts after death.  

What Digital Assets Are

Digital assets can be many different things, and it is important to have a clear understanding of the different types since they can require very different treatment after death. Digital assets include:

  • - Files on your home computer like pictures, word documents, and spreadsheets;
  • - Digital books and music like iTunes and Kindle books;
  • - Social networking accounts like Facebook and Twitter;
  • - Online gaming accounts and valuable in-game assets;
  • - Websites or domain names you own; and
  • - eCommerce information like bank accounts, Paypal, and eBay.

Choosing how to handle each of these assets can require some careful thought because they will each likely need a different form of treatment. For instance, Paypal accounts can probably simply be closed out after withdrawing the funds, but some people would prefer to see their Facebook page memorialized rather than simply closed.

Handling Digital Assets

From a legal standpoint, handling digital assets may be a challenge because the problem is somewhat new. This means that the law has yet to catch up to the technology in many ways. Instead, much of the legal landscape is determined by the individual service itself based on the “Terms of Service” that they have each user agree to. However, there are still precautions that you can take in order to better empower your loved ones to carry out your wishes.

The first thing to do is to create a digital inventory. This is a list of all your digital assets, where to find them, and the usernames and passwords necessary to access them. This inventory should also include instructions to the executor of your estate detailing what you would like them to do with each of the assets.

Then you should make sure that your legal documents include provisions for the management of your digital assets. This means designating an executor to handle your digital estate. This can be the same person as the executor for the rest of your will, but it does not have to be. If the executor for most of your estate lacks computer skills it could be prudent to name someone else to deal with digital assets. While this executor may still have trouble carrying out all your wishes if the website’s Terms of Service will not allow it, arming them with a digital inventory and a legal document can certainly improve their chances.

If you would like to make an estate plan or if you want to update your plan to account for digital assets, contact an Illinois estate planning attorney today. Our skilled team assists clients across the northwest suburbs, including in Inverness, Kenilworth, and Riverwoods.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Recent Posts


Tags

Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer car crash injuries Arlington Heights injury attorney Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer living trust benefits real estate closing Barrington attorney preventable medical errors Illinois employment law South Barrington real estate attorney Des Plaines civil attorney Inverness elder law lawyer comparative negligence drug crimes lawyer Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys condo association Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act startup company living trust vs will Kenilworth estate planning attorney foreclosure IRELA material misrepresentation Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Schaumburg corporate attorney Chicago estate planning lawyer Schaumburg elder law lawyer breach of contract Barrington employment attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer motorcycle accident Illinois personal injury lawyers ObamaCare cell phone accidents Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney food poisoning Mt Prospect Attorney Illinois mortgages Illinois estate planning attorney unpaid assessment car accident Illinois personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute murder defense Crystal Lake will lawyer manufacturing Chicago trucking accident attorney meal breaks texting while driving forming a corporation in Illinois Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Arlington Heights accident attorney Barrington criminal defense lawyer Chicago lawyer insurance claims senior citizens distracted driving accidents real estate zoning Arlington Heights insurance attorney elder abuse insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys estate plan Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Illinois traffic laws Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Barrington personal injury attorney Crystal Lake injury attorney denial of life insurance wills internet contracts medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Illinois car accident attorney installment contracts digital assets Illinois trusts attorney Palatine personal injury lawyer suspended license federal regulations for LLCs Forcible Entry car crashes Barrington criminal lawyer fiduciary rule delay murder digital evidence Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer hit and run accident Illinois personal injury attorney Exclusions digital information real estate attorneys Buffalo Grove probate lawyer personal injury claims automated cars preventing accidents unauthorized overtime Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Illinois trucking safety Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Palatine criminal defense lawyer Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer jet ski Illinois insurance disputes Schaumburg insurance lawyers wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Crystal Lake employment lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Chicago insurance claim attorneys insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Deer Park criminal attorney drug crime Illinois wills and trusts attorneys eluding a police officer Illinois medical malpractice claim Arlington Heights car crash attorneys deed transfer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, traumatic brain injuries Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Illinois registered agent Des Plaines personal injury attorney medical marijuana sexual images digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, license suspension pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Illinois construction accident attorney Schaumburg probate attorney ken apicella Whistleblower Claims surgical mistakes medical malpractice deadly crashes estate planning Des Plaines tax law firm Buffalo Grove life insurance attorney caretaker rights rollover car crashes Palatine traffic accidents Arlington Heights personal injury attorney special needs trust employment law, Illinois employment laws TBI mortgage pizza emoji Illinois business law atorneys Barrington litigation attorney wrongful death fiduciary rule Schaumburg employment law attorneys mass shooting criminal record Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer POA traffic laws crossover accidents criminal defense Colin Gilbert Illinois employment lawyer Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument social media after death traffic violations Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Inverness DUI lawyer Schaumburg estate planning lawyer medical research Self-Directed IRA Accounts pedestrian accidents Barrington employment law attorney Inverness probate lawyer Illinois employment law attorneys employee discrimination landlord Class A misdemeanor personal injury life insurance claim denial, denial of life insurance claim trucking accident lawyers gift taxes Affordable Care Act Transfer on Death Instrument Illinois Human Rights Act cell phone tower data Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys probate process Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer traffic crimes estate planning lawyer power of attorney for healthcare Long Grove estate planning personal injury claim trustee Arlington Heights employment law attorneys estate planning for college students problem employees denied insurance claims living trust estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers medical malpractice compensation personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer employment attorney South Barrington real estate lawyer institutional trustee Crystal Lake tax lawyer motorcycle accident lawyer paid sick leave right to work Crystal Lake law firm Inverness civil lawyer employment lawyer college kids natural gas Chicago car accident lawyer small business Illinois real estate lawyer Legal Info swimming pools bicycle accidents clemency Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Palatine injury attorney Inverness injury lawyer Barrington drug crime attorney texting and driving Palatine insurance lawyer beneficiary complications real estate Crystal Lake business law attorneys Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney traffic deaths Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers drunk driving personal injury lawyer Inverness personal injury attorney insurance attorney Illinois employment laws Illinois insurance claim attorney comp time Illinois insurance lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Illinois driving without license severance agreements Barrington medical malpractice lawyers Illinois employment attorneys Illinois injury lawyer marijuana crimes attorney insurance denials guardianship attorney head on collisions Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Illinois rollover accident lawyers appealing an insurance claim Rolling Meadows business lawyer DUI attorney Illinois medical malpractice attorney Palatine construction attorney Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney traffic accidents in terrorem provision Illinois criminal defense attorney insurance dispute attorney anesthesia errors premises liability Deer Park traffic accident attorney insurance negligence traffic tickets overtime violations financial advisors unfunded trust Detainer Actions federal crimes blood alcohol content Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Barrington estate planning attorney estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Illinois collections attorney personal injury attorney defective products lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney filing a medical malpractice claim Long Grove real estate lawyer Palatine civil attorney insurance claim dispute attorney DMV controlled substance medication errors power of attorney Illinois workplace discrimination attorney spinal cord injury DNR Schaumburg Attorney Palatine law firm Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove law firm real estate attorney rent to own real estate contracts dealing with problem employees liens cause-of-death exclusions license capital gains tax first degree murder IRA benefits changes to mortgage law Palatine workers compensation lawyer advance healthcare directive Buffalo Grove injury lawyer employment contract Illinois tax attorney Arlington Heights tax lawyer dynasty trusts medical malpractice claims corporate law Schaumburg employment attorney insurance claim denial Illinois workers compensation lawyer natural gas explosion Palatine real estate lawyer income distribution deducation Barrington estate planning lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer golf accidents sole proprietorship Palatine traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer Buffalo Grove employment lawyer real estate lawyer Palatine estate planning lawyer pet law pain and suffering wrongful termination Deer Park personal injury lawyer Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Arlington Heights employment attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Inverness real estate attorney investment property holiday statistics Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Mount Prospect elder law attorney Palatine trusts lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Illinois Trust Code Illinois employment law attorney child safety FMLA Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers sexual harassment Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney privacy BAC Illinois pet lawyer Palatine punch death speeding bad faith insurance claims Des Plaines pet law attorney Illinois insurance attorney CAM Chicago employment lawyer pay when paid contract Jay Andrew Illinois estate planning Illinois speeding lawyer Barrington boating accident attorney involuntary manslaughter DGAA liability claims Palatine drug lawyer FSLA drunk driving statistics real estate contract construction contracts breathalyzer test Illinois lawyer estate planning attorney car accident lawyers Inverness estate planning lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys business litigation Deer Park accident attorney murder charges real estate leasing Arlington Heights real estate lawyer trucking accidents DUI penalities nursing home negligence overtime pay Illinois traffic attorneys ACA privacy laws Des Plaines injury law firm Rolling Meadows Attorney Illinois medical malpractice lawyers underage DUI auto accidents Chicago employment attorney probate Crystal Lake traffic lawyer creditors workers compensation Arlington Heights Attorney Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Illinois law Des Plaines insurance attorney llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Crystal Lake employment law attorney dog bites hiring employees Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer top life insurance claim denials Colin H. Gilbert disability benefits Illinois bicycle safety Schaumburg civil litigation attorney products liability modern family estate planning Barrington business law firm workers compensation benefits Rolling Meadows tax attorney criminal law Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys commercial real estate defective products coronavirus probate lawyer Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Inverness accident lawyer Illinois corporate lawyer Palatine probate lawyer Joliet general practice lawyers driving Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys life insurance lawyer Palatine employment lawyer Barrington Traffic Lawyer Illinois field sobriety test Riverwoods estate planning lawyer work unions minimum wage Chicago insurance law firm living wills bicycle dooring accidents Schaumburg personal injury attorney Palatine civil litigation lawyer Illinois pedestrian accident attorney product liability drug crimes Illinois living will Illinois LLC creation license revocation Illinois boating accident lawyer healthcare Rolling Meadows life insurance claim denial attorney Illinois traffic accident lawyer Schaumburg estate planning attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer liability Thanksgiving Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer consent to a search BAIID Illinois business lawyer insurance adjusters Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Des Plaines Illinois red light cameras Buffalo Grove corporate attorney trauma after an accident Illinois employee rights attorney. Illinois Smoke Detector Act Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers hands free device insurance claim delay irrevocable trust Barrington injury attorney Super Mario Arlington Heights traffic attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney new real estate form Inverness real estate lawyer uninsured motorist digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Employment Discrimination Law Illinois workplace lawyer icy parking lots trench injuries insurance agent negligence Illinois traffic attorney insurance dispute traumatic brain injury drug possession IRA trust transfer rumble strips Attorney Ken Apicella health insurance dispute compensatory time Illinois job attorney construction accidents Des Plaines real estate lawyer Des Plaines drug lawyer dram shop law employee misclassification marijuana owner responsibility trusts pedestrian-automobile accident Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Chicago estate planning Inverness insurance attorney Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents IRS Chicago corporate attorney Schaumburg traffic lawyer BUI Chicago biking tips Arlington Heights estate planning attorney slip and fall accidents condo DUI Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Crystal Lake car accident attorney Schaumburg Schaumburg life insurance attorney Illinois wills and trusts Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Arlington Heights criminal lawyer workplace sexual harassment independent contractor brain injury home inspection lawyer wage theft denied insurance claim pregnant women Rolling Meadows traffic attorney loss of consortium Illinois small business Barrington life insurance lawyer Inverness corporate attorney Schaumburg estate attorney life insurance claims PTSD personal injury law firm loopholes Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer civil litigation Illinois civil litigation lawyer unpaid overtime underfunded trust landlord tenant law Palatine employment attorney Arlington Heights trucking lawyer operating agreements employee rights Illinois insurance claims lawyers construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation car crash insufficient documentation estate planning trusts Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Liquor Control Act Des Plaines real estate attorney Inverness traffic law firm distracted driving accident victims Palatine Attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer insurance claim whistleblower protections lapse in policy Illinois defective products attorney Crystal Lake accident attorney jet ski accidents Palatine elder law attorney DUI defense Deer Park real estate law firm Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Illinois estate planning law firm Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Long Grove real estate attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney commercial leasing Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Schaumburg criminal attorney Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Barrington workers compensation attorney car accidents Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer drugs attorney fees Illinois will lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows probate claims process Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Deer Park DUI lawyer residential real estate Schaumburg injury lawyer insurance claim dispute Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Chicago will attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer license reinstatement Home Sale Contingencies Deer Park traffic lawyer fault based insurance workers comp healthcare claims Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer pedestrian accident Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers tax attorney personal injury accidents rollover accidents Schaumburg criminal law attorney Illinois attorney estate tax subcontractor Crystal Lake employment attorney reckless homicide estate attorney life insurance policy employees Schaumburg real estate lawyer wills and trusts insurance agents probate claims School Visitation Rights Act Chicago attorney Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Illinois DUI attorney Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Chicago life insurance attorney Rolling Meadows employment attorney underinsured motorist Fair Labor Standards Act Kenilworth estate planning attorneys job lawyers low-ball insurance settlement Palatine life insurance lawyer taxes Illinois home inspection traffic violations defense insurance denial appeals Illinois elder law attorney vacation home fines commercial leases Barrington civil litigation attorney Schaumburg car accident attorney Palatine corporate attorney foreclosed rental property Illinois medical malpractice case expungement Policy Cancellation Illinois workers compensation attorney Illinois employment law firm probate fees car accident lawyer vacation home how to avoid common denials of life insurance claims Des Plaines accident attorney criminal no contest clauses denial of insurance claim blended families Deer Park employment law attorney pet bites truck collisions Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers insurance disputes Long Grove estate planning attorneys employment law accidental death benefits Palatine employment law lawyer revenge porn Crystal Lake pet attorney Arlington Heights lawyer Fourth of July GM ignition switches Buffalo Grove traffic attorney insurance claim denials boating DUI most common reasons for life insurance claim denials bike accident LLCs civil litigation attorney Barrington employment law firm Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Palatine business attorney Illinois Sales Representative Act Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance Crystal Lake traffic attorney Barrington real estate lawyer slip and fall Retaliatory Discharge Illinois real estate caregiver boating under the influence car collision Des Plaines DUI attorney civil rights violation Des Plaines collections attorney elder law Barrington personal injury lawyer Illinois probate lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorney life insurance Family Medical Leave Act Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer boating accidents fatal car accidents homestead rights Des Plaines claims law firm rest breaks cell phone back injuries trust payments Do Not Resuscitate Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission traffic offenses Rolling Meadows insurance attorney agent spinal cord injuries Arlington Heights TBI attorney Home Remodeling Repair Act Illinois personal injury

Archive