Technology has moved at such a pace that laws have not been able to keep up. Most Nevada residents have multiple digital assets to be considered during the process of estate planning. Many individuals may not have focused on these assets when preparing their will, because it is something reasonably new.
However, it is advised that individuals keep in mind that their loved ones would not be able to access any online accounts. Apart from photos saved online and social media accounts, there may be online bank accounts, Bitcoin and PayPal. It may be wise to record details of such accounts with a person’s respective passwords and to store it in a safe place.
When drawing up a will, one should stipulate the individuals who should have access to those accounts, including instructions of how those individuals should obtain the account information. However, current laws do not allow third parties to have access to digital accounts with monetary value. A commission in another state is drafting a law to accommodate all these new developments. The law would allow the owner of the digital accounts to appoint another person to perform such duties vested in him or her relating to responsibility of managerial authority over digital assets of a person after he or she passes away.
Nevada residents who are considering drawing up a last will and testament as part of their estate planning may want to consider the inclusion of their digital assets. Studying the current state laws relating to the bequest of digital assets may be a good start. Individuals may handle their estate planning personally; however, the intricacies of the laws in this area may need the guidance of experienced council.
Source: usatoday.com, “Estate plan should pass down digital heirlooms“, Sue Doerfler, April 17, 2014