How Americans can protect their digital assets

The average resident in Texas has thousands of dollars' worth of digital assets, and those assets are worth protecting. Many people with ordinary jobs don't think they have anything worth money in the digital sphere, but the reality is that even something as simple as a username and password can be considered a valuable asset. If a password, secret account number or other piece of important information got into the wrong hands, it could cause a major financial loss.

When someone passes away unexpectedly, digital assets can be easily lost. That's why it's important for people to create an estate plan that accounts for everything from social media account information to a list of usernames and passwords. This information should be kept in a secure place where family members or loved ones can find it when needed. This can be on an external hard drive or in some type of password management software. The information should always be up to date.

A low-tech way to protect digital assets is to create a letter of instruction. This is a letter that explains how one could find online accounts, though it may not directly give legal access to them. People are required to explicitly grant ownership of digital assets to their heirs, so obtaining legal assistance is usually necessary.

When a person with valuable digital assets wants to create trusts, working with an estate planning attorney can be very helpful. They may draft and file documents that pass down these assets to heirs in a way that mitigates tax liability. In addition, they may help ensure that heirs benefit from digital assets that may otherwise get forgotten. An estate planning attorney might also help a client amend their trusts as their priorities change over time.

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