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

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

Archive