Are digital assets important enough to put into an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2021 | Estate Planning |

With “buy the dip” trending on Twitter and Bitcoin hitting all-time highs, cryptocurrencies are hot topics. And, more-and-more people are adding cryptocurrencies to their portfolios, and as such, their estate plans. Though, many people forget that cryptocurrencies are just one type of digital asset that need to be included in estate plans.

What are other types of digital assets?

We know that our digital assets include our financial accounts and crypto-wallets. But, these are not all one’s digital assets. Digital assets include our streaming providers (think, Disney+, Netflix, etc.), social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), online video and photograph storage, typed blogs and video blogs, Cloud storage, email accounts, cellphone applications (Venmo, PayPal, etc.), etc. Essentially, anything that requires a username and password.

Are these important enough to put in an estate plan?

Yes. Think about if one died or became suddenly incapacitated. Could the family (spouse, kids, etc.) access bill accounts, like electricity, water, mortgage, etc.? Without access to these accounts, loved ones could lose the power, internet or even, the house.


Digital assets may still be accessible, but only by the executor of one’s estate and only after they are empowered by a probate judge. Though, because those assets are controlled by the providers user’s agreement, even a probate judge may not be able to force access to those digital assets. Indeed, some digital assets are to be deleted upon death.

Putting them into the plan

The easiest way is to add a listing of accounts, including the username and passwords, to one’s Last Will and Testament, along with instructions on how they should be distributed, managed or deleted. Though, it is also advisable to add this to a power of attorney that empowers a third-party to act on one’s behalf for those purposes as well.

Do not forget about privacy

Think about carving out exceptions and which digital assets to list on the Arizona Will. Remember, a will is a public document, so if there are some digital assets that one may not want everyone in southern Arizona to know about. In that case, Tucson residents should probably be listed on another, non-public document.