How are Digital Assets different from a Digital Estate Plan?

Digital Assets and Digital Estate Planning difference

If you are wondering how Digital Assets are different from a Digital Estate Plan, do not worry. We got you covered.

Is downloading Facebook photos onto an external hard disk enough to be considered as a Digital Estate Plan? Of course, not! A Digital Estate Plan is more than just downloading your photos from Facebook or Instagram or cloud storage.

Have you wondered what happens to your Digital Accounts after your demise? Who handles them? Who deletes your Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions? Who downloads your documents, photos and videos from Cloud Storage? You might say “My family members will look after it.” Yes, they will, provided you give them access to your accounts.

You have to remember that it is illegal to share passwords through a Will. So, do you write all your usernames and passwords in a sheet of paper or store it in an online document and forward it to your close friends or relative and let them handle your accounts? It is not all that simple, especially when a legal complication arises. Also, the chances of a third-party individual gaining access to your written or online document are high. So, what should you do?

This is where creating a Digital Estate Plan comes into picture. By creating a separate Estate Plan for your Digital Assets – also known as Digital Estate Plan – you are letting specific people (a close friend or trusted family member) handle your online accounts after your death. You can leave instructions and let your beneficiaries know how you want them to handle your online accounts – transfer, close, memorialize or delete.

What are Digital Assets?

A Digital Asset is a content that is stored digitally. Anything that you created or own on the internet can be termed as a Digital Asset.

Digital Assets include :

  • Social media profiles
  • Gaming profiles
  • Online video and magazine subscription
  • Websites, domains and personal blogs
  • Email accounts
  • Intellectual Property
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Digital Art – photos, vectors, music, etc

Difference between Digital Assets and Digital Estate Plan

Digital AssetsDigital Estate Plan
  • Includes content created or owned in a digital format
  • The creator of the online accounts (social media profiles, documents, email accounts) is the owner of the Digital Property
  • Creation of a Digital Asset does not require any legal authorization
  • Transfer of accounts is governed by Individual Organization’s Legacy Policies.
  • Is an Estate Plan exclusive to Digital Assets
  • An individual can appoint a Digital Executor and instruct them to handle their Digital Assets (online accounts) after they’re gone.
  • The plan must be authorized in writing by an attorney
  • Transfer of Digital Assets is governed by Individual Organization’s Legacy Policies as well as state/country-specific Digital Estate Planning laws.