Parker & Associates, P.A.

Parker & Associates, P.A. is a full-service residential and commercial real estate law firm

Estate Planning For The Digital Era

It has become the norm to store financial records in smartphones, computers, or the cloud, and to conduct financial transactions electronically.

Most people also own a trove of digital assets, which can include anything from domain names and electronically stored photos and videos to email and social media accounts.

The average person has roughly $35,000 worth of assets stored on digital devices. That value includes purchased movies, books, music and games as well as personal memories, communications, personal records, hobbies and career information. Of those surveyed by the study, 55 percent said they store assets that would be impossible to recreate, re-download or repurchase.

Unfortunately, those assets are increasingly at risk of being lost when the account owner dies. Many digital accounts are subject to complicated terms of service agreements, which can often make it difficult or impossible for surviving loved ones to access them.

Additionally, state and federal laws could put friends and relatives who try to log on to your accounts at risk of violating anti-hacking and privacy statutes.

You may have planned for your loved ones to eventually inherit your house, the Steinway grand piano, your Dad's 88-year-old Swiss watch, or other family heirlooms, but with life increasingly being lived online, you may be overlooking an increasingly important kind of property: Digital assets.

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