When people think of estate planning, they probably think about assigning their traditional assets to the people they love. Michigan residents want to make sure there is a plan in place so that their loved ones get important assets like homes, real estate, investments and cash. Other personal property is also assigned in an estate plan. This plan helps a person know that the person’s family will be taken care of should the unfortunate occur.
However, the world is changing. People don’t own just tangible personal property anymore. People are also responsible for a large amount of digital information. As the internet has become more ingrained in our culture, many people have a large number of assets online.
This can include email accounts with business contacts, accounts and transactions. Or, it could be a social media account with a large number of followers. Many people also have substantial libraries of digital pictures, videos and other family mementos on their personal computers.
These newer digital assets cannot be overlooked in an estate plan. Theses assets could get lost in the probate process if they are not accounted for. If no one has the right to access these accounts following a person’s death, the accounts could be lost forever. In some cases, that could translate to losing hundreds of treasured pictures or, on the other hand, lost income from a business account.
An experienced estate planning and administration attorney should understand the complex issues surrounding new media and probate. The attorneys at the Prince Law Firm, for example, know that a person’s digital legacy is important and must accounted for. We have helped maximize the value of these assets through estate planning tools in prior cases. Our attorneys understand that prior planning can prevent financial and emotional loss. Please see our digital legacy web page for more information about estate administration and planning in the digital age.