A digital asset is anything that has a username or a password. This includes photographs, videos, PDFs, and documents, as well as company branding, presentations, and marketing content.
Unfortunately, accessing digital assets in Houston regularly proves to be a complicated endeavor as testators frequently forget to account for online property. For this reason, it is important to work with our dedicated lawyers at Hegwood Law Group who could help you acquire these assets or put together an estate plan that makes it easier for your beneficiaries to access them.
Issues with Accessing Digital Property
It is extremely important that you track all your usernames and passwords and store them in a secure location. Additionally, the executor of your estate should know how to access that location upon your death so that accounts can be closed, and assets accounted for. Our Houston attorneys often find that people do not take their digital assets into account, making it very difficult to pass some of those things down to their beneficiaries.
Importantly, there are some privacy laws you should be aware of when it comes to accessing digital assets. For instance, there could be HIPAA violations regarding the transfer of medical information or similar content.
A lot of digital assets are also controlled by different companies, like Apple, that have their own procedures. When drafting your estate plan, it is important that you include instructions on how to access your online accounts or assets. Otherwise, your beneficiaries will have to go to each company to try to obtain the information from those accounts or assets, which can be a lengthy and complicated ordeal.
How Could Digital Assets Complicate the Probate Process?
Having digital assets in your Houston estate plan could make the probate process take more time, especially if the accounts are not clearly accessible. It is often more expensive to try to litigate against the company in control of these assets than it is to collect the asset, so there is the possibility the beneficiary may lose the digital property. For this reason, it is highly important that you clearly and accurately document any online assets that you wish to distribute to an heir or heirs.
Learn More About Digital Assets from a Houston Attorney
With the rise of online property, such as Bitcoin, many people need to take their digital assets into consideration when creating an estate plan. This includes detailing where and how to access the property by properly documenting and storing all usernames and passwords.
Failure to properly document your digital assets could make it difficult for your intended beneficiaries to access them, lengthen the probate process, or even prevent your heirs from acquiring the property you wished for them to have.
Fortunately, our team at Hegwood Law Group is highly experienced with these common issues and can help you put together an estate plan that could avoid them. We can also help if you are having difficulty accessing your loved one’s digital property after their death. Call now to book your initial consultation and learn more about how to protect your digital assets.