Levine & Levine
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Criminal Law Archives

Understanding your digital assets during estate planning

2488869_1.jpgUnder Michigan law, a fiduciary acting under a last will and testament or durable power of attorney, or a trustee acting under a trust agreement, can legally request the digital assets of the individual they represent. The durable power of attorney document or trust agreement does grant full power to the fiduciary allowing for the management of all digital assets in order to comply with this law. A digital asset means "an electronic record in which the user has a right or interest." Examples include email accounts, brokerage accounts, social media accounts, text messages, photos, information stored on a phone, airline miles, e-books, videos, digital currency, website domains, or anything stored in the cloud.

Why is estate planning an essential aspect of financial management?

2488869_1.jpgEstate planning is an essential aspect of financial management both from a personal and business perspective. On a personal level, a current Will, Trust (if necessary), Durable Power of Attorney and the Health Care Directive, and letter of instruction are components among other ancillary documents. Informing your loved ones of your intentions- and making clear your instructions alleviates much angst and difficulties for family in the event of a sudden and tragic event. Even if you become ill and require assistance, planning when you feel well and can clearly identify your needs and your family's needs is of the utmost importance. Making clear how they can locate your assets, debts, how they can pay bills, collect on debts, is required; many persons conduct nearly all their banking and bill paying on line; do your loved ones or assigned representatives know where to find passwords and what needs to be taken care of?

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