Does the fact that data security is in the headlines, and digital privacy continues to be a hot topic have you concerned? How should you protect your digital assets?  In fact, do you know how to protect them? Are you aware that digital assets can be included in your estate planning? In fact, part of securing your digital assets may be planning for the future and this can be accomplished with your estate planning. The following points may help you understand how to include digital assets in your estate plan while keeping them secure in the meantime.

First, a critical point in addressing the security of your digital assets is protecting and preserving your passwords. We know it is tough to keep track of all of the different passwords you use to access your various accounts on a frequent basis.  One suggestion to assist you in keeping track of your passwords would be to make a written list and keep it in a locked desk drawer or home safe. In order to make updates to your list we suggest keeping it where you can access it frequently Remember that the passwords you choose should be strong, not easily figured out, and changed at least once a year. Be vigilant in checking on your digital assets to ensure your passwords have not been compromised. If they have, update them immediately. 

Second, could your digital assets be included in your estate plan? Yes. There are digital assets that are financial, like a digital Paypal, Venmo, or bitcoin account. Some digital assets are sentimental, like a collection of photographs or videos of your children and grandchildren. Be cognizant of the fact that someone needs to be able to access these assets after you pass away.  We recommend you choose a “password person” who can be trusted with your password  information. Be sure to keep this person informed of where you keep your password list so he or she can access it when the time comes. In addition, you may want to detail who should have access to your digital assets when you write your will with your Wisconsin estate planning attorney or leave your personal representative instructions with respect to your passwords.

Contact our office to discuss your options if you will be giving or receiving money or other assets this holiday season and anticipate this may impact your Medicaid eligibility. We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.