Tips for Dealing with Digital Assets
Provided by HG.org
Digital assets are still a relatively new item for many business owners and individuals with monetary and property assets. However, it is important to understand how these work, what to do with them and especially what is needed to protect the family in the event of the death of the owner of the assets so that they are able to retain them after he or she dies.
Digital assets are often real items that have corresponding online presences. This could mean funds in an account that is reduced to information moving from one computer to another, or a digital asset could be a true online aspect of something owned by someone such as a website or e-commerce site that sells products or services. There are various factors and elements that must be considered when dealing with these items that include knowing the passwords and login names, understanding the accounts that hold various funds and who to talk to if anything is lost before it is transferred to someone else after the original owner dies.
Many assets held online have logins, and the owner may not have compiled a list. This means that before he or she passes away, the list must be recorded for anyone inheriting the items. The list should contain any cloud systems that store information, usernames and passwords for various websites, any secured files that may be stored elsewhere and subscriptions. Some accounts could be for investments, may contain account idís for other items and may be for collections of data. Even if the owner is in no danger of dying, he or she may need to create a list for someone to manage while he or she is away or cannot maintain all the records and sites.
The Wide Variety
When planning to accrue revenue, settle an estate for heirs or in increasing business, it is important that digital assets are acquired from a range of places, sites and accounts. This means utilizing a wide variety of online financial means. The details should be recorded and remembered, but with a larger system in place, this may be easier when multiple sites and assets use the same logins or information. However, it is best to refrain from simple and overused passwords to keep many individuals from accessing the data. Some accounts may be linked through such logins as PayPal, or they may be localized to a region of the world.
The Local Laws
When it comes to business of any kind, it is crucial to know the local laws and how the state laws affect both the company matters and digital assets. There are at least five states with laws that permit access to digital assets, but many states are attempting to implement similar regulations. This means that it may be possible for the entire United States to have certain legislation in effect for representatives to access files, email and other digital medium. This means that assets are no longer shielded as they once were, and if any legal violations occur, they could be seized.
Privacy in Digital Assets
When planning on how to deal with digital assets and if there is any need to pass on the information, these matters require privacy. It is important to ensure that if emails and other files should be kept private, this is specified in documentation. The access may be only granted to a select few. This means that all choices for these concerns must be outlines in paperwork. The data is often kept with a trusted individual such as a lawyer so that it may be disseminated at another time if necessary. This may mean keeping the login details separate from a will or last testament.
When dealing with digital assets, it is crucial to bind them to the owner legally. This may ensure that they cannot be stolen under usual circumstances by someone else or an heir. If the logins are kept away from a computer or are so random that no one else could guess them, this could create a form of protection. An agent may need to be hired to ensure that if there is a need that certain digital information is given to each party. This may mean there are lists with numerous items that are separate from others.
The trusted individual hired to assist the owner of digital assets may be a lawyer. This means that he or she is not connected to the assets of the estate and may not gain from his or her death.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.