You have a massive home library with thousands of books. In the same room is your vinyl collection, with hundreds of records. These are all very valuable and well-loved by your children, so you clearly plan to leave them to the children in your estate plan.
However, you also have thousands of dollars’ worth of eBooks, some of which you haven’t even read yet. They exist both on your reader and in the cloud. The same is true for your extensive music library, with thousands of albums that you bought to listen to while you drive, run and travel. Can you leave all these assets to your children as well?
The convenience of digital products is impossible to deny. You can have so many files at your fingertips. The problem is that you don’t really own them in the same way that you own your physical media.
For instance, some companies specifically state that your rights to own the music are not allowed to be transferred. When you pass away, that’s it. Your library is gone.
With other sellers, you don’t even own anything. You essentially pay for access to your content. The company owns that movie or song, but you can listen/watch whenever you want. If you pass away, though, you can’t pass anything to anyone because you never owned it to begin with. Your access is done, and your children have to buy up their own libraries.
The digital uprising is one of the biggest changes of the last few decades. Make sure you know how it may impact your estate plan.