Why is organizing digital assets important?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2020 | Estate Planning |

The sheer number of digital assets you own in your personal computer, phone, data cloud, tablet, hard drive and emails may seem daunting to organize. However, digital assets are an important part of your estate plan. Some assets may contain great value that your children may benefit from, or you might have important information that you want your heirs to have. 

You might decide to give your executor complete authority over your digital assets. However, if you want to split up control over different assets among different people, you should organize your assets according to each person who will oversee them, along with the account information to access them. Forbes gives some examples of digital assets you should consider in an estate plan. 

Digital liabilities 

A lot of people make their purchases online. Many people set up automatic payments to online vendors. These vendors charge a credit card, take money from an online financial platform like Paypal, or transfer money from a bank account. As part of an inventory of your digital assets, you should include account information on these kinds of digital liabilities. 


Naturally, you might want to restrict who can see your emails after you die. Some people give their email account information to a spouse or a child. However, you may have information in your emails that your executor needs to close out your estate. You might have your relative or whoever you designate review your emails and forward the relevant ones to an executor. You may decide to give your executor power to look into your emails if you desire. 

Creative works 

People sometimes have incomplete creative projects stored on their computers or in a data cloud at the time of their death. A book author, for instance, may have part of a manuscript stored digitally. There are also people who have plans for a product that they are developing or designs for a new computer program. 

Some individuals want to designate a person to destroy their incomplete projects if they die before finishing them. Alternatively, you might want someone else to receive your unfinished works so they can complete them or benefit from them in some way.