As we discussed a few weeks back, online or digital assets can be problematic for some Michigan residents as people increase their online presence, the amount of information they access and store online grows. The growing use of email and paperless bill paying has created a situation where vital records are stored in online accounts only. Those involved in estate administration are having some difficulties in obtaining access to those records, as the laws regarding ownership of online accounts after death have failed to keep up with the popularity of those accounts.
As discussed in last week's post we will continue this week on the importance of remembering digital assets in estate planning activities. Many in Michigan and elsewhere spend a good portion of their time online performing a variety of activities from gaming to investing and sharing photos. In doing so we are creating an online legacy of sorts in which we may want our loved ones to have access to in the event we become incapacitated. The United States General Services Administration suggests people consider creating a "social media will" of sorts.
Welcome to the digital age where we now have to consider such mundane things as our Facebook login credentials in our estate plan if we want our loved ones to have access to it upon our passing. Many Michiganders often forget about digital assets when planning their estate, both non-financial and financial assets, such as your online trading accounts or your online gossip trading accounts. Think about all the online photo albums you may have stored on various social media and file sharing websites such as Flickr and Facebook, do you want loved ones to be able to access those photos?