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Wills helpful for addressing digital assets

When asset owners in New York think of their important assets, money and real estate property often come to mind. Naturally, these are the assets that often end up in wills. However, many individuals neglect to consider other noteworthy assets as well, such as their Facebook accounts.

In today's increasingly digital world, many of people's most important assets can be found wrapped up in technology. These include not only social media accounts but also texts with family members and friends. Other assets that fall in this category are documents found on a cloud-storage system.

To prepare for the future, writing down in a will what one wants to happen to these types of digital assets is critical. This includes creating a detailed list of each account and then determining which ones need to be deleted and which ones an executor should access. However, usernames and passwords ideally should not be included in the will, as wills become public documents upon their creators' deaths. Instead, this sensitive information can be stored in software used to manage passwords, and instructions can be left for the executor to locate them.

Estate planning is often placed on the back burner because people naturally prefer not to talk about death. The reality is, though, that death can strike at any time, so it makes sense to be prepared for the unexpected. An attorney in New York can help with drafting wills and other estate planning documents that reflect asset owners' wishes so that their assets are addressed appropriately when they die.

Source: scientificamerican.com, "Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets", Natalie Banta, Feb. 7, 2018

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