Don't Forget about your Digital Assets
Digital assets are a relatively newer classification of assets but because of the increasingly important and pervasive role technology plays in our everyday lives, it is important to consider and include digital assets in your estate plan.
We use password-protected technology to communicate and socialize, to store our music and photos, to pay bills and conduct financial transactions and to promote ourselves.
Digital assets can have sentimental value e.g. social media accounts such as email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or financial value e.g. on-line banking, pre-authorized payments/deposits, PayPal, cryptocurrency.
It is important to ensure that your attorney for property (in the event of your incapacity) and your estate trustee (following your death) knows what your digital assets are, the current password, all other relevant information and what you would like done with them so that your attorney/estate trustee can access the digital asset in a timely manner and carry out your wishes and instructions.
In Ontario the governing legislation does not directly refer to digital assets. Because of the uncertainty surrounding digital assets, the best tool and assistance you can give your attorney and estate trustee is the clear authority in your Power of Attorney for Property and Will to deal with your digital assets.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wenda Yenson provides advice on will and trust planning and powers of attorney for property and for personal care, as well as advice to executors, trustees, and beneficiaries in estate administration matters.