Go back a few decades and no one had any digital assets to worry about when they died. Now that people live much of their lives online, they need to think about how they will account for digital assets in their estate plans.
You can break digital assets into four categories:
Assets that only exist in electronic form
Maybe you hold cryptocurrency or NFTs. If so, there is no physical version to worry about – they are entirely electronic. Despite their non-existence in the physical world, they can be worth a lot.
Online access to regular financial assets
If you control your bank accounts online, that access is important when you die. You don’t want just anyone to be able to access your accounts, as they could drain them. But you do want someone to be able to discover what is in them and distribute them as required.
Your online communications
Do you want anyone to be able to read your emails or post on your social media accounts when you die? Or do you want them to die with you?
Your files stored online
Most people have a lot of files stored online, ranging from family photos to manuscripts of their latest novel. These could have sentimental and financial value, so you likely only want certain people accessing them.
Ohio, like most states, has adopted new laws to deal with digital assets when people die. It is called the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA). It gives executors easy access to some digital assets but stipulates specific permission is needed for others. Learning more about it can help you create an estate plan that handles your digital assets as you wish.