Digital assets new territory in estate planning - WNEM TV 5

Digital assets new territory in estate planning

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Attorney Robert Miller at Shinners and Cook said there's a lot of confusion right now surrounding digital assets. 

"Right now it is like open territory. There are no laws. It is like the wild west with digital assets," Miller said.

But what are digital assets?

"It includes bank accounts, Paypal, everything you do online is a digital asset," Miller said.

Miller said right now, many states, like Michigan, haven't defined digital assets as property.

That's why state lawmakers are now presenting a bill to set rules for how guardians and those who execute wills can access digital assets.

Miller calls it a necessary baby step.

"It's a law that at least says digital assets are property rights. At least that will put them under the umbrella of our traditional wills and trusts," Miller said.

Lawyers advise you to think hard about who want to give your passwords and online information to in case you die.

"I wouldn't wait for any law to be passed. I would go to your estate planning lawyer and include digital assets and your Flickr account or your Paypal account in your estate plan," Miller said.

Many social media platforms have settings allowing control of digital assets. Facebook allows you to set up a legacy contact, under your privacy settings.

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