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Estate planning and digital assets

When a Colorado resident dies, his or her estate typically passes on to the beneficiaries. However, in reality, this is not always the case. While technology has made keeping in touch with friends and managing financial accounts easier, it has also created concerns that should be addressed in the estate planning process.

The first step in protecting one's digital assets is to take inventory of these assets. This should include a listing of all digital accounts. Such accounts may include social media, educational, email, investments, banking and credit cards. The majority of an individual's communication is now electronic with no paper records of accounts, thus making it difficult or impossible for loved ones to track down these various accounts once an individual is unable to communicate this information.

The next step is to provide information regarding how to access these accounts. For some, this may mean a written list of access codes and passwords stored in a file, safe or safety deposit box. For others, this may mean a password app that stores all relevant information. Regardless of the chosen method, Colorado residents will want to make sure that it is updated regularly and that loved ones know where it is located.

Finally, one will want to review details regarding account access. Just because someone has the ability to log into an account does not mean that it is legal to do so. There are a number of estate planning issues that need to be considered in regard to digital assets. In order to make sure that one's various accounts are protected and that loved ones are taken care of, Colorado residents will want to address this as a part of estate planning.

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