When someone dies in the state of Wisconsin, their will dictates how the court must divide their assets. This typically includes physical properties like cars and houses as well as financial assets like life insurance policies and savings accounts. However, an increasing number of people are leaving behind digital properties that contain valuable information. How can their family members access this information without their loved one’s social media passwords?
What counts as digital property?
In 2016, Wisconsin launched the Wisconsin Digital Property Act. This act allows people to include their digital properties in their estate planning documents. A digital property is any kind of online record that the individual wants to leave behind. This could include music, art, photos, emails, stories, audio, videos and anything else.
Think about all the people who died without giving their loved ones access to their social media accounts. They could have thousands of family photos locked away that no one will ever see again. The Digital Property Act makes it easier for people to include digital properties like email accounts, social media accounts, file storage accounts, cloud storage accounts, shopping accounts and much more in their will. Once they’re gone, their loved ones can access their accounts and collect the photos, social media posts, emails and everything else that they want to keep.
When you talk to an estate planning attorney, they could help you include digital properties in your will. You might have to write down your passwords and give one person access to your accounts. This person might be responsible for handling your accounts and distributing the digital assets after your death.
How can you plan for the future?
If you’re like most people, you probably have hundreds or even thousands of personal artifacts stored online. When you’re gone, your family members might not have access to them. An attorney could help you carry on your legacy by giving your relatives access to your social media accounts. You might be able to use a social media tool or name a specific person to carry out your wishes after your death.