Estate Planning for Digital Assets & Online Accounts

Legal Article

Estate Planning for Digital Assets & Online Accounts




I am often asked by clients, “what should I do with my digital assets in relation to my estate plan?”

In order to preserve these assets after your passing it is important to make sure that any assignment of personal property to a revocable trust contains provisions for the transfer of digital assets. In addition, it is important to maintain a list of all of your digital assets and print it out on paper; this list should include all of your on-line accounts as well as a list of usernames and passwords. This is sensitive information, so protect this information by keeping it in a secure place. Some people will put this information in a sealed envelope to be opened only upon death or incapacity. Wherever you keep this information, make sure you tell your successor Trustee (and agent under the Power of Attorney, if different) where this information can be found. You should update this list at least yearly.

In addition, tell your successor Trustee what you want done with your digital assets. If you have a social networking site, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, let your successor Trustee ones know whether you want the site maintained following your death or whether you want the site removed (some sites have specific policies regarding what happens when a person dies or is incapacitated, so make sure you check each site’s policy). If you have a collection of music or photographs, tell your successor Trustee what you want done with those.

For more information on the preservation of digital assets, please contact Antonoplos & Associates.

Peter D. Antonoplos, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Antonoplos & Associates. Mr. Antonoplos’ practice focuses estate planning and real estate matters. Mr. Antonoplos is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, New York State; and State of Maryland. Mr. Antonoplos routinely lectures on real estate and probate law issues in Washington, DC and New York. Mr. Antonoplos lives in North West Washington, D.C. He is an avid chess player and motorcycle enthusiast. He may be reached at 202-803-5676 or