Digital Assets

Digital AssetsIn our ever growing and changing world, the type of assets we hold at the time of our deaths are also evolving. In addition to real property and personal property we now also have digital property. These can be categorised into two main categories –

  • Digital Records are items that are not strictly the user’s property. Examples include social media accounts and profiles, digital music and e-book collections, online purchasing accounts such as amazon and eBay, loyalty program benefits such as flybuys, sports gambling accounts and online gaming avatars.

 

  • Digital Assets are digital materials which the user has a proprietary right or interest over. Examples include cryptocurrency and digital photos or digital artwork.

Most Digital Records will be subject to End User Licence Agreements (EULA) which are legally binding agreements between the owner of the product (the licensor) and the end-user of the product (the licensee). This means that the user does not have any rights over the Digital Record but instead owns a licence to use the product while they are alive. Upon the death of the account holder the licence will end and the account will not be transmittable upon their death.

Some things to consider when finalising your estate plan in relation to your Digital Records and Assets include –

  1. Social Media Accounts
    1. Accounts such as Facebook allow you to nominate someone as a ‘Legacy Contact’ who will be in charge of your Facebook page upon your death. They will be able to close the account or memorialise your page.
    2. Have you nominated someone as a ‘Legacy Contact’? What do you want to happen to your accounts upon your death? Would you like them closed or turned into a memorial page?
  2. Cloud Based Storage
    1. Do you have any sensitive personal, medical or financial information stored on cloud-based file storage?
    2. What would you like to happen to that information upon your death?
  3. Passwords
    1. How do you store your important account passwords?
    2. Do you use a password manager application, do you have a paper back-up, or do you rely solely on memory?
    3. How will your Executor access these passwords upon your death?
  4. Cryptocurrency
    1. Do you have cryptocurrency?
    2. Have you kept clear and concise records of this asset?
    3. How will your Executor access your cryptocurrency? Do they possess the knowledge and skill to access your cryptocurrency and sell or transfer it?

Do you have questions about your digital property in relation to your estate planning? If so, reach out to one of our lawyers and we can assist you.