Digital checklist

Digital Estate Planning Checklist for Massachusetts Residents

In today’s digital age, estate planning has expanded beyond physical assets to include a wide range of digital properties. At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., we advise our clients throughout Southeastern Massachusetts to make sure to include digital assets in their estate plans because the worth of cyberspace entities can now be as great as that of “real” property.

What Are Digital Assets?

Digital assets encompass a variety of online accounts and files stored on digital devices, including:

  • Email accounts
  • Social media profiles
  • Digital photographs and videos
  • Online banking and investment accounts
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Digital business assets
  • E-commerce accounts
  • Domain names
  • Online gaming accounts
  • Subscription services
  • Cloud storage files
  • Digital music and book libraries

Understanding the scope of your digital assets is the first step in successfully planning to manage, distribute, and protect them.

How Digital Assets Should Be Managed

Effective management of digital assets as part of your estate plan involves several key steps:

  • Taking Inventory by compiling a complete list of your digital assets, including login credentials and passwords.
  • Appointing a Digital Executor to handle your digital assets according to your wishes.
  • Providing Instructions on how each digital asset should be handled after your death.
  • Ensuring Legal Compliance with Massachusetts laws and terms of service agreements. This is best accomplished by working with a knowledgeable digital assets attorney.

How To Protect Your Digital Assets in Massachusetts

Protecting your digital assets requires both security measures and legal foresight. Our savvy lawyers will assist you in:

  • Securing storage of your digital assets and login information in a protected, accessible location.
  • Regularly updating your digital asset inventory and estate plan as you acquire new assets and create or change passwords.
  • Incorporate digital asset instructions into your will, trust, or a separate digital estate plan document.
  • Take steps to protect sensitive information and the privacy of your online communications.

The Serious Risks of Failing To Protect Your Digital Assets

Neglecting to protect digital assets in your estate plan can lead to:

Loss of Valuable or Sentimental Content

If you lose access to your digital assets, you may permanently lose priceless photos, videos, and other irreplaceable records of your personal history.

Identity Theft

Unprotected digital assets are prime targets for hackers. Identity theft can lead to complicated, confusing, often economically and emotionally devastating, consequences.

Legal Challenges 

Beneficiaries may face legal hurdles when trying to access and/or manage digital assets without clear directives.

Financial Loss

Without proper documentation and access, monetary assets stored or managed online may be inaccessible to your heirs.

How Our Asset Protection Attorneys Will Help Keep Your Digital Assets Safe

At Surprenant & Beneski, P.C., our experienced estate planning attorneys understand the complexity of dealing with digital assets. When you become our client, we will provide you with:

Customized Planning: We will tailor your digital estate plan to fit your specific assets and your particular needs and goals.

Legal Capability: We will make sure that you store and manage your digital assets, like the rest of your estate plan, in compliance with Massachusetts laws and federal regulations.

Protection and Security: We will guide you to store and transmit your digital asset information privately and securely.

Ongoing Support: As digital laws and assets evolve, we will help you update and maintain your digital estate plan so that it remains current.

The Takeaway

Now that digital assets are an integral part of estate planning, you can rely on Surprenant & Beneski to help secure them as part of your legacy. Contact us today so we can assist you in taking the necessary proactive steps to ensure that your digital assets, as a significant part of your estate plan, are carefully managed and protected.