How to Include Digital Assets in an Estate Plan

Roy Y. Gagaza

May 16, 2023

In today’s digital age, it is essential to consider including digital assets in your estate plan. Digital assets encompass various online accounts, files, and intellectual property with financial and sentimental value. Failing to account for these assets in your estate plan can lead to complications and potential loss. This article will guide how to effectively include digital assets in your estate plan.


Digital assets include various online accounts, such as email, social media, cloud storage, cryptocurrencies, and digital media. These assets may hold financial value, personal information, or sentimental value, making their inclusion in estate planning crucial. However, there are unique challenges and considerations associated with digital assets.

Identifying Digital Assets

The first step is to identify and take inventory of your digital assets. Make a comprehensive list of all your online accounts, including financial accounts, email accounts, social media profiles, subscriptions, and any other digital property that holds value. Consider tangible and intangible assets, such as domain names, digital photographs, and intellectual property.

Understanding Legal and Privacy Considerations

Ownership rights and licensing agreements play a vital role in digital asset management. Some digital assets may restrict transferring ownership or require specific permissions for access. Additionally, privacy concerns arise when planning for digital assets after death. Consider the terms of service agreements and privacy policies of different platforms and how they affect access to and transfer of digital assets.

Appointing a Digital Executor

Designating a digital executor is crucial for managing your digital assets after your passing. A digital executor should be someone you trust and possess the technical knowledge to handle digital accounts and assets. Discuss your intentions with the individual and ensure they are willing to take on the responsibility.

Creating a Digital Asset Management Plan

Developing a digital asset management plan involves organizing and securing your digital assets. Store important information, such as account usernames, passwords, and answers to security questions, in a secure location that your appointed digital executor can access. Consider using password managers or encrypted storage options to protect sensitive information.

Updating Legal Documents

Review your existing estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts, and ensure they include provisions for digital assets. Specify your wishes regarding managing, transferring, or deleting digital assets. Work with your estate planning attorney to ensure that your legal documents accurately reflect your intentions.

Utilizing Digital Estate Planning Tools

Various online platforms and services cater specifically to digital estate planning. These tools offer features like secure storage, asset inventory management, and automated instructions for digital asset management. Explore these options and choose the one that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Considering Digital Estate Laws and Regulations

Digital estate laws and regulations may vary depending on your jurisdiction. Familiarize yourself with the laws governing your area’s digital assets to ensure compliance. Additionally, be aware of the terms of service agreements of the platforms you use, as they may dictate how your digital assets are treated after your passing.

Communicating Your Plan

Inform your loved ones about your digital assets and the steps you have taken to include them in your estate plan. Share relevant information with your appointed digital executor, including the location of important documents, passwords, and instructions. Open communication will help ensure a smoother transition and minimize potential complications.

Regular Reviews and Updates

Regularly review and update your digital asset management plan to reflect any changes in your digital footprint. This includes adding new accounts, removing obsolete ones, and updating passwords. Stay informed about technological advancements and new platforms to adapt your plan accordingly.


Incorporating digital assets into your estate plan is essential in today’s digital world. By identifying your digital assets, understanding legal considerations, appointing a digital executor, creating a management plan, and utilizing digital estate planning tools, you can ensure your digital assets are protected and appropriately managed after passing.