Modern technology has brought many changes to business and commerce. It has also changed the types of assets you can accumulate. The digital age has made it possible for people and businesses to earn and exchange money electronically using e-wallets. Some popular examples of such are PayPal, CashApp and Apple Money. There are also digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to be considered as assets.
For this reason, it is important you appoint a digital executor to handle your digital assets in the event of your death or sudden incapacitation.
The Role of a Digital Executor
Before the rise of the digital age and thereby digital assets, executors managed all related assets of a deceased or incapable person. The current age makes it necessary to appoint a person who understands the ins and outs of digital assets as your executor to handle these as well as any of your other assets.
In addition to e-wallet cash and crypto-currencies, other forms of digital assets include:
- Social Media Accounts
- Website Domains
- Documents, Photos and Other Content Stored Online
- Cloud Storage Accounts
The Duties of Your Digital Executor
The duties of your digital executor depend on the instructions you leave them. If your executor has taken over before you’ve had an opportunity to clarify and solidify your wishes, they could use their own judgment or consult a crypto-currency expert.
Cash in e-wallets may be easier to decipher alone by going through statements and notifications. With trading accounts, an expert can advise on how to proceed with an account that has been actively trading in order to best avoid losses and keep making a profit. If your assets include an active blog or vlog on a digital platform like YouTube, it may also be necessary to determine how to keep them going if not otherwise assigned.
Getting Everything Right
Ideally, there shouldn’t be any confusion as to what should be done with your digital assets. Your appointed executor should know whether they are to pass on an asset, hold on to it and keep it going, or educate an heir on how to manage it, such as is the case with active trading crypto accounts.
These duties and responsibilities of your digital executor should be clearly stipulated by you, the owner, in writing. The instructions should be precise and include:
- Keeping passwords and other access information safe
- Maintaining any required payments, such as those affiliated with web hosting
- Archiving or deleting all files on hard drives and in the cloud as directed
- Closing accounts as so required
Choosing Your Digital Executor
Considering the following characteristics in your digital executor can help find the best:
Select someone who is available to manage your valued digital assets you value and not ignore them because of time.
Especially when choosing a digital executor for assets that are income-generating, it’s important to select someone with an interest.
Choose someone you trust to value those you’re bequeathing your digital assets. This may be a family member or close friend who cares not only for you, but also your heirs.
Designate someone who has an understanding of digital assets. Being an expert isn’t necessary, but a minimal understanding of the monetary value of your assets is preferable. The right person will also know to seek help in matters like crypto trading.
Lastly, your digital executor must satisfy the criteria set by state law. These include U.S. citizenship, a stipulated minimum age, or state residency among other requirements.
For it to be legal, a digital will has to be officialized by a licensed attorney. If you are in the area of Detroit, Michigan trust Foley Law Offices to handle this for you. You may be very clear on how you wish your digital assets to be handled by someone else, however, if your wishes are not backed by legal authority, they won’t count.
Experienced, dedicated lawyers are available to assist you through the legal process that will ensure your final wishes are carried out exactly as you plan them. Free case evaluations can be requested online, or you can visit the Livonia office. You’ve worked hard acquiring and maintaining your digital wealth. Let a reputable and reliable attorney work harder determining how best to distribute your digital wealth when you’re gone.