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Your digital assets: Do loved ones know what/where those are?

If someone had mentioned an online vault to you years back, you wouldn't have had a clue what they were talking about, right?

Now you likely would. Indeed, you might already be using such a computer-linked tool to store copies of various financial documents, such as tax returns, insurance documents and so forth.

A recent article on estate planning suggests that you consider using an online vault for one other purpose, as well, namely this: your digital assets.

OK, here we go again. That term certainly wasn't commonplace a generation ago, but these days, well … .

That is, most computer-savvy people can intuitively take a stab at what sorts of things are centrally within the realm of digital assets. Indeed, many millions of people in the United States and globally currently have significant digital assets and are adding to them all the time.

You've got an email account, right? That's one such asset. So, too, is the Facebook account you might have, and all your other online accounts ranging from Amazon to PayPal.

Those accounts will differ in any given case, of course, but the point is that most of us do have an online presence.

And it needs to be acknowledged, thoroughly inventoried and made accessible to some responsible person or individuals in your estate planning scheme.

Because, if that isn't the case, many important things connected to your online life might remain invisible and out of bounds to your heirs after your death.

What if no one learns you have multiple online accounts that trace back to money that you certainly would have wanted to be passed along to select individuals? What if one or more accounts command strong emotional and/or historical value to surviving family members?

These days, digital assets are often of key importance in estate planning considerations for many people. An experienced estate administration attorney will routinely ensure that clients fully consider the significance of an online presence and properly account for it when planning for the future.

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