The Leading Trust and Estate Litigation Firm in Michigan

Preserving a Digital Legacy: Estate Planning in the Age of Facebook

As people handle more and more of life’s affairs on the Internet, new categories of assets and information must be considered in any comprehensive estate plan. From creative works, photographs, and personal history to financial data, messages, and business records, a wide range of digital information should be inventoried and assessed to ensure its proper destination and control in the event of the creator’s death or incapacity.

Email And Social Media Can Contain Valuable Information

As an example, a person entering his or her fifties may have a dozen or more years of personal and professional correspondence stored in a Yahoo or Hotmail account, with perhaps a few years more in an AOL account that is never used anymore. Maybe these archives have value as a source of business contacts and account histories, or perhaps the account holder just wants to ensure that only a particular trusted friend or family member has access to this legacy. A Facebook page dedicated to a particular hobby or organization could be turned over to the control of a colleague, or the future value of a Twitter account or blog with particular expertise that has thousands of followers could be designated to finance an educational trust or other beneficial purpose.

What’s In Your Hard Drive?

Information stored on personal computers must also be considered. A designer, writer, or artisan who has thousands of images and files relating to processes and research should plan for the future of everything he or she has compiled. In some cases, parties may want to direct a “digital” personal representative or trustee to destroy certain records or eliminate accounts. Just as important, family photo albums seldom occupy broadleaf books anymore — thousands of fresh snapshots of grandchildren and scanned images of past generations may be tucked away on hard drives, CDs, or online storage. A bit of forethought now can prevent confusion about or accidental loss of digital assets down the road.

Taking Charge By Reining In Uncertainty

Most estate planning clients will immediately focus on the items of major value in their lives, like real estate, pensions, and investments, as well as antiques and other tangible personal assets. But as every aspect of our personal lives and careers becomes more transparent and indelible, the need for a broader view of assets has arisen. An attorney who has experience with your full range of legal options for employing a will, trust, or other strategy can be the first step toward sensible estate planning.

For an initial consultation about preserving your digital legacy, call Prince Law Firm at 248-419-1968 or contact us online. Speak with one of our experienced lawyers today.

Estate Planning Law Blog

Blog

Reviewing estate planning goals after entering a second marriage

It might not be uncommon to experience a variety of changes throughout life, and each of these changes could alter your goals and preferences for the future. Upon entering a second marriage, there are numerous topics to consider as you prepare to align your plans with...

Getting POAs set up for your college student

Helping a child prepare for college is a pretty involved process. There are a lot of things to think about and plan for. One thing many parents in Michigan may not think to do is set up powers of attorney for their college-aged kids. POAs serve a valuable purpose, and...

Entering retirement? It’s time to look at your estate plan

As you saw the economy take a downturn and people become frustrated when trying to find work, you decided that it was time to retire. You could leave your position and have it open up for someone else, all without it negatively affecting you.  Now that you’ve made the...

Could you benefit from a long-term care insurance policy?

When it comes to modern medical care, long-term care is one of the most expensive needs that a person could have. Long-term care may necessitate residency in a nursing home, which may cost thousands of dollars a month. Long-term care could also mean having skilled...

Topic Category 2: Estate administration and probate

When it comes time to administer a loved one’s estate, whether in the state of Michigan or elsewhere, most people just want to get it done and over with as quickly as possible. That can be difficult to do, though, if the executor is dragging his or her feet. If you...