When we say “protecting your digital wealth” what are we actually referring to?? It might pay to find out as it has the potential to be more valuable then you might think!!
In thinking about your personal assets and the “digital footprint” you currently have – you may be missing a large piece of valuable “property”. When completing your will or doing your Estate planning, we tend to think of “assets” as tangible items. Items that we can see touch or have an obvious value (i.e. bank accounts). But as our lives and the way we interact is increasingly digital, we also need to consider what assets are we generating in a digital environment.
A recent article by the Financial Review revealed that over 80% of people don’t discuss what we will happen to their digital assets when they die (or are incapacitated in some way), and only 3% have explicit directions in their wills.
Examples of Digital Assets which have the potential to create wealth or value:
- Social media networks and accounts
- Email accounts
- Blogs and domain names
- Music files
- Files stored in the cloud
- PayPal accounts and other online payment services
- Computer Software
- And then the actual hardware itself – the computer, devices, smartphones and anything else that is used to store and manage all this information.
Who owns these Assets in the event of someone’s passing?
This becomes a very grey area when instructions are not specified in a will. Is it the person with the login details?? Usually a spouse?? Currently, no legislation in Australia specifies what is to happen in these circumstances.
On the flip-side without password and login details shared to family many of these online digital assets sit locked away, in some cases with family not even knowing they exist.
You can read the full article from the Australian Financial Review, protecting your digital wealth is something you should consider when planning your Estate and documenting your current assets and wealth.