The concept of creating a power of attorney (POA) isn’t new. Your Orange County estate planning attorney will often assist you with naming your POAs to help handle financial decisions, business transactions, and even medical directives to your estate plan.
Have you ever considered what happens to your email, social media, and online banking accounts? By working with an estate planning lawyer in Orange County at the Parker Law Offices, you can ensure that your digital assets are not only protected but in the right hands at the right time.
As your estate planning attorney in Orange County CA, will tell you, a digital asset includes both hardware and data.
Hardware can include things like computers, cell phones, external hard drives, flash/thumb drives, tablets, e-readers, digital music players, and more.
These items don’t just contain digital information but also have a physical monetary value.
Data is best described as information stored on hardware or on third-party servers, like the cloud. Some of this data has monetary value, like domain names, e-commerce accounts, online stores, income-generating online accounts, and so on.
There are also digital assets that do not necessarily have a monetary value, like photographs, documents, videos, music, and more.
In the modern world, digital assets are becoming more prevalent. It’s less common to have physical photo albums or Video Home System (VHS) tapes sitting around that family members can access.
In fact, most people are resorting to online storage for these kinds of assets, making them only accessible to the account owner.
Beyond pieces of personal data, many people are moving other essential elements of their lives into digital assets. This includes things like going paperless for utility bills, bank statements, investments, and more, not to mention completely digital entities like cryptocurrency.
A POA works in such a way that if you are incapacitated or pronounced dead, a person of your choosing can make decisions on your behalf within the limits of the POA.
These powers can include selling your property or making decisions regarding your medical care—the same system exists for digital assets.
Imagine a scenario where the executor of your estate is tasked with paying off debts, canceling accounts, etc. If you only receive bills, statements, and account information online, your executor may not have the ability to complete these necessary tasks.
At best, they will have to file for a court order to access your email or online accounts. Ultimately, this process complicates the handling of your estate and could waste valuable time or money.
You also probably have multiple online profiles and accounts with sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, and more. These accounts may need to be closed, updated, or changed.
Without a POA for these digital assets, your executor may need to acquire a subpoena or face lengthy legal battles.
We not only include Orange County estate planning services but can also protect your digital assets.
That means safeguarding account information, passwords, and online accounts so that those you choose can have access when needed. We can even help ensure that your loved ones can access your digital footprint online such as your password-protected social media accounts and emails.
Learn more about how you can adequately account for your digital assets during your free one-hour consultation.
Putting your affairs in order is our order of the day, contact our team at the Parker Law Offices today.