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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Digital Assets - Part of Your Legacy?


You've put your will, your living will and your insurance policies into your SafelyFiled account.  You've uploaded the car titles and the birth certificates.  You've marked the locations of the originals, so if anything happens to you, your spouse or children can find them.

What About Digital Assets?
Your email, email address book, music and social media accounts are digital assets.  While you can use them any time you want, the law is still unsettled with regard to your ability to sell them or pass them on to your heirs.  See this link for a short article on the problem: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/passing-digital-media-apps-easy-pass/story?id=17148612

But even without considering the ownership issue, letting someone know you have these assets and giving them access to the information stored in those accounts can be critical.  Your email address book is one digital asset that many of us don't think about.  You may not want to share your email address book with your daughter now, but if something happened to you, you'd probably appreciate having your daughter notify your friends.  She couldn't do that without their email addresses, and she needs your name and password to get into your account.

The same goes for all of the financial statements you get electronically.  In the past, one of your family members could go through your paper folders to determine what you own.  Now, there may not be any paper files to go through. 

How you handle this is up to you, and there may be some contractual restrictions on giving others access to your accounts.  But let me tell you what I've done.

I set up a "Password" folder in my SafelyFiled account. Into that folder I uploaded two documents.  One of the documents is a spreadsheet with the account names and passwords.  My wife and I can see that anytime we log in.  I also uploaded another document that simply says, "All my names and passwords are located in a plastic sleeve in the middle drawer of the desk in my study."  I gave my children access to that note, so they don't have access to the accounts now, but can get to them in the event of an emergency, when they really need access.

It's Up To You
Each one of us has a different opinion about what should be shared, when it should be shared and what should be kept private.  However, with digital assets, your opinion may not matter one bit unless you do something and at least let your loved ones know you have these assets.  We hope SafelyFiled makes it easier for you to do that "something" you need to do.
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