Matthew S. Payne is a Chicago-based attorney with a 20-year record of success in civil litigation, real estate law and estate planning.

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How digital assets factor into your estate plan

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2021 | Estate Planning

You don’t need to own cryptocurrency or be a social media influencer to have digital assets in Illinois. Digital assets are records kept electronically that you either control, own, or license. If you don’t make the necessary arrangements for these unique assets before you pass away, it often means heartache and headaches for loved ones who are trying to pick up the pieces afterward.

Why should you make plans for your digital assets?

It’s a tragic reality that entire digital photo and video albums are lost to the ether without the deceased individual’s account names and passwords. Frequent flyer miles, cryptocurrency records, and other electronic records that have monetary value may become impossible to access if they’re not included in the estate planning process. Digital lockouts are hard to work around since automated login systems are unforgiving and unsympathetic.

Leaving your loved ones with enough information

The best thing you can do for your family and loved ones to make the estate planning process easier is to name a digital executor. This will make the leadership in handling your digital assets clear and give them the ability to access account names, passwords, and other important information.

It’s also a good idea to create an inventory of all usernames and password information as long as you keep it safe. By regularly updating this inventory, you’ll ensure that loved ones will always have access to the most current information if the unthinkable should happen.

Make sure your loved ones can access your digital assets

Unlike physical transactions, the life that you lead online doesn’t leave the same kind of paper trail behind. This makes it all the harder to retrace your steps once you’ve passed away, sometimes resulting in lost keepsakes that may have held both monetary and sentimental value. By considering digital assets in the estate planning process, you’ll be making the job of recovering these assets much easier for those who are tasked with it.