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Do not forget digital assets when drafting an estate plan

Ownership can get confusing in the digital age. It is not uncommon for people to be unclear on what exactly is considered an asset and what can be passed onto heirs. With the fading of physical media, many now have vast collections of digital music, books, movies and all manner of entertainment that holds great value. Florida residents may be surprised to learn just how valuable these assets can be.

According to a report, Americans on average value their digital assets at $54,000. Unfortunately, though, there are not many people who include these digital assets in their estate plans. By excluding these often-valuable assets -- assets that may hold both monetary and sentimental value -- loved ones may be unable to access them. This can create problems for family members who may wish to access email accounts or blogs that a loved one has left behind, as well as valuable assets like digital bank accounts.

There are a number of steps that can be taken in order to help digital assets fall into the hands of loved ones and desired beneficiaries. The first thing one can do is to make the executor aware of all of the digital assets of which one is currently in possession. Choosing a trustworthy executor is an immensely helpful first step. Then, it can be greatly beneficial to begin making an inventory, including in it such assets as digital bank accounts and digital media libraries.

Deciding on the right executor and then creating an inventory of assets can seem difficult and overwhelming. Thankfully, there is help available for those wishing to complete a thorough estate plan that leaves out no valuable properties and states, in clear terms, exactly what one's wishes are.

Source: Market Watch, "Who gets your digital fortune when you die?," Andrea Coombes, Jan. 10, 2014

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