Do I Even Have Digital Assets?

Chances are, yes you do!

What is likely though, is that you haven’t factored any of these into your formal –, or even informal – estate planning or discussions.

Keeping memories alive, digitally

Summer is the time to create great memories with and for family, friends, and life in general. In most cases, these are held on one or more digital platforms. For ‘sentimental valuables’, it’s hard to go past reliving those moments through the photo album, or more frequently on your digital device.

The problem here is, like the human body, devices break down, get old, lost, or simply stop working. Thankfully, we have this mystical environment called the “cloud” that means even if you don’t have your device, you still have your “account” which can be accessed via a new or replacement device.

So far so good, right? Well, sort of.

Why you should consider digital accounts in your estate plan

What if something unforeseen happens to you? How do your executors, husband/wife/partner, or children access your “digital” accounts to gain access to those memories?

You should plan what will happen to your digital assets on death, or even incapacity, in very much the same way as for your physical assets.

Some reasons include:

  1. Financial value
  2. Sentimental value
  3. Identify theft
  4. Privacy and confidentiality

These are all important considerations that should form part of your formal and informal estate planning discussions. Important points include making an inventory of your digital assets, where to access passwords etc., and considering appointing a trusted representative who can manage these accounts if you can’t.

Tell them what you would like to happen and give clear directions before it’s too late.

What digital assets do you have?

So, in case you’re thinking what do I/could I have in the way of digital assets, let’s consider a few to get you thinking:

Photos, videos, music, e-books, blogs, movies, emails, important emails, bank accounts, medical records, social media accounts, private messages, online trading accounts, gambling and gaming accounts, online businesses.

Other “non-physical” assets include loyalty programme points, airline/hotel reward points, Fly Buys etc., some of which can have considerable accumulated values.

It’s certainly well worth having a read of the fine print, particularly with Airpoints reward schemes.

The process from discussion to distribution looks something like this:

  • Find them
  • Record them
  • Secure them
  • Administer them
  • Distribute them

How Perpetual Guardian can help you

So you’ve identified that there are some valuable “non-physical” assets to consider as part of your estate planning. What now? The next step is to discuss the best way to capture these as part of your estate planning with your local Perpetual Guardian adviser. 

Find your local branch here or give the team a call on 0800 87 87 82.

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