Estate Planning for Digital Assets

How to Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Planning

With our lives increasingly being online, including digital assets in estate planning has never been more important.

From social media accounts to digital currencies and online businesses, these assets form a significant part of our digital legacy.

This article provides guidance on how to effectively incorporate digital assets into your estate planning.

Understanding digital assets

What are digital assets?

Digital assets include online accounts and digital files that have financial or sentimental value. This can range from email accounts, social media profiles and blogs, to cryptocurrencies, digital wallets, and digital rights to music or literature.

The value of digital assets

Digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies or online businesses, can hold significant financial value. Others can have sentimental value, such as photos and videos stored online.

Recognising the value of these assets is the first step in planning for their future.

Legal challenges in managing digital assets

Access and ownership issues

One of the main challenges in managing digital assets after death is access. Many online platforms have strict privacy policies that may restrict access to accounts by anyone other than the original user.

Intellectual property rights

Intellectual property rights are usually associated with digital assets. Some assets may be owned outright, while others, such as digital music or eBooks, may be licensed and not transferable upon death.

3 steps to including digital assets in your estate planning

1. Inventory your digital assets

Make a comprehensive list of your digital assets, including login information and passwords. Update this inventory regularly and be sure to keep it secure.

2. Appoint a digital executor

Designate a trusted individual as your digital executor to manage your digital assets according to your wishes.

Make sure they have the necessary information and authority to access and distribute your digital assets.

3. Specify your wishes

Specify your wishes clearly for each digital asset in your will or estate plan. This may include deletion, transfer of ownership, or archiving of certain assets.

Legal documents for digital asset estate planning

Will and Testament

Include specific provisions in your will for the distribution and management of your digital assets.

Power of Attorney

Consider granting a durable Power of Attorney to a person you trust to manage your digital assets if you were to become incapacitated.

Seeking professional advice

Estate planning for digital assets can be complex, and laws regarding digital property are still evolving.

Consulting with an estate planning lawyer who has experience with digital assets can ensure that your digital legacy is protected and passed on according to your wishes.

In conclusion

Incorporating digital assets into your estate plan is essential in today’s digital age.

By taking proactive steps to manage these assets, you can ensure that your digital legacy is preserved and passed on to your loved ones according to your wishes.

The keys to effective digital estate planning is organisation, clear instructions, and seeking professional advice.

Contact us today at Ballantyne Law.


Sidnee Jennings


Kathy Rundle

Special Counsel