Simplify estates by including digital assets in wills

When you are making your estate plan, you might be thinking about all of the physical items you need to include. Thinking about your home, cars and other property is likely going to take most of your attention. It is still important, however, for all Oklahoma residents to remember that in this day and time, there are more assets to think about than those that you can physically touch and see.

The assets that you might not be thinking about including in your estate plan are your digital assets. These assets, such as online bank accounts, investment accounts, social media profiles and other accounts, should all be included in your estate plan. By doing this, you give your family the peace of mind in knowing that they can control these assets.

When you include these digital assets in your will, make sure that you include instructions on how to access the accounts. That doesn't mean that you have to include usernames and passwords in the will, but you can write out a Letter of Instruction to let your loved ones know that information.

Thinking about what digital assets to include in your estate plan involves thinking about what accounts will prove to be important financially to your family members. Additionally, you have to consider what accounts, such as photo hosting websites, might prove to be of sentimental value to your family members.

By covering your digital assets in your estate plan, you will help to make it easier for your loved ones to get access to these accounts. If you don't include them in your will and estate planning documents, your loved ones might end up having to fight privacy laws and other obstacles. For this reason, you should make sure that the wording of your will pertaining to your digital assets clearly and legally conveys your desires.

Source: USA Today, "Estate Planning 101: Don't forget digital assets" Eric McWhinnie, May. 25, 2014

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