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The One Asset You’re Forgetting to Protect

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The One Asset You’re Forgetting to Protect


These days, everyone has some form of a digital asset -- whether it’s a social media account, an email account, a website, blogs, even a domain name or the frequent flyer miles on a credit card. Believe it or not, these assets hold value and should be part of your estate planning.

At your passing, these digital assets and accounts can become compromised if you haven’t made arrangements to protect them. For example, if you racked up frequent flyer miles or have credit card cash reward balances, it will all be lost if you don’t designate a beneficiary of those rewards.

As difficult as it may be to think about your own passing, it is a serious matter to plan for, especially if you want to control your legacy. Below, I breakdown action steps you can take to protect your valuable digital assets.
 
How do I protect my digital assets?
Here are 4 steps to take:

  1.  Make a list of all the digital assets you currently own, including any domain names, social media accounts, credit card reward balances, etc.
  2. Update your estate planning documents including Wills, Powers of Attorney, and any revocable living trusts appropriately to include these assets and who will be responsible for handling them.
  3. Name a trusted individual to be your “Digital Editor” or “Legacy Contact."
  4. This person will have access to your accounts at your death and will be responsible for managing your accounts based on your specific orders. Some platforms, such as Facebook, have “inactive account manager” settings that’ll allow your named “digital editor” to access your account at your death and deactivate the account. 

Dos and Don’ts when protecting your digital assets
Dos

  1.  Be proactive and discuss with your loved ones how you want to leave a legacy.
  2. Learn as much as you can about each platforms’ policies on protecting accounts.
  3. List all financial, purchasing, and social accounts, including login IDs and passwords
  4. Make sure everything matches on all documents! This means logins, passwords, and designated account managers.

 Don’ts

  1. Do not list username and passwords in your Will since it becomes public upon death.
  2. Do not store this information in an email address.
  3. Do not assume that your friends and family will automatically get access to your digital assets. You must designate them in writing and what type of access you grant.

The Bottom Line: 

At your death, there’s more to just listing beneficiaries on your retirement and investment accounts. Your digital assets have value too, and careful planning needs to be taken into consideration on how those assets and accounts will be managed at your passing.


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This data is for informational purposes only and Capital Benchmark Partners, LLC ("CBP") is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned nor endorses them. CBP is not endorsed by any third party entities for their inclusion in this article nor is compensated for mentioning them. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but the accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed.

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