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Digital assets need to be included in an estate plan

As the world changes and technology evolves, that technology needs to be dealt with in ways that some innovators may have never imagined. One area of concern when it comes to technology is how digital assets are handled when a person passes. Because of how much the Internet has permeated daily life for Michigan families, including digital assets in an estate plan is something nearly everyone must think about.

Nowadays, people have valuable family information, including secret recipes and photos, all online. Remote accounts and clouds may contain items or pictures that can be lost forever if someone simply doesn't have a password. Including passwords and appointing a digital executor to control these assets is just as important as it is for physical assets.

It is important to choose an executor who is tech savvy in most regards. It is also important to explicitly make wishes clear, especially for social media sites and accounts. Some sites may need to grant permission or may not allow access to others, which means that plans to deal with these sites may need to be dealt with ahead of time.

As with any estate plan and asset distribution plan, the process can be a personal journey. When families in Michigan are in the midst of grief, they may be saved more time and heartache if certain things are taken care of ahead of time. By thoroughly tackling the fate of digital assets as part of a comprehensive estate plan, families can be relieved of that extra duty or the struggle of not knowing a loved one's wishes.

Source: bizjournals.com, "4 questions to jumpstart your 'digital estate plan'", Lisa Honey, Nov. 24, 2014

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