Estate Planning in the Digital Age
Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech University School of Law
April 21, 2013
Recently, a new subdivision of property has emerged that many people label as “digital assets” such as accounts used for e-mail, professional and personal data backups, banking, investment, and shopping, domain names and web-hosting accounts, social networking accounts, and avatars for online games. While estate planners have perfected techniques to transfer traditional types of property, many estate planners do not address digital assets when preparing their clients’ estates.
This article aims to educate estate planning professionals on the importance of planning for the disposition of digital assets, provides those planning techniques, and discusses how to administer an estate containing digital assets. The appendix contains a sample form which may be used to organize digital assets.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: digital assets, digital estate, estate planning, wills, trusts, passwords, fiduciary
JEL Classification: K11
Date posted: October 24, 2012 ; Last revised: April 26, 2013