Disposition of digital assets: reasons for digital estate planning

Death in the digital age is a lot more complicated than it used to be.  Traditionally, fiduciaries and family members start administering an estate by reading the individual’s mail and sorting through records at the person’s home.  However, with online accounts and paperless billing, these traditional approaches may not be available to fiduciaries today.  The information needed to locate and access tangible and digital assets is often in the digital world itself.  Email accounts are typically the primary access point to all other online assets.  Online statements, notifications, messages, paperless bills etc., will all come through to the decedent’s emails.  Moreover, the decedent’s address book and calendar are often tied to or stored within the email account.

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