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New Jersey estate planning: Naming a digital guardian

| Jun 27, 2019 | Estate Planning |

Protecting digital assets is something this column has addressed in previous posts. Making sure digital assets are protected matters. Making sure that loved ones have the right to access digital assets also matters. When estate planning, New Jersey residents would be wise to consider naming a digital guardian. If this step is not taken, one’s beneficiaries may not be legally allowed to access specific online accounts.

A solid estate plan includes plans for all digital assets. It is just part of living in the world today. In the past, all one had to do was compile a list of accounts, user names and passwords, and pass that on to a loved one or other trusted individual. Anymore, that is no longer good enough. Without proper authorization, beneficiaries can actually get into some serious trouble if they attempt to access one’s accounts.

It is possible to name authorized users or legacy contacts for individual online accounts, and it would be good to do if that is available. Otherwise, it is possible to name a digital guardian in one’s will, trust or power of attorney. Those who already have these documents prepared can have them modified to include the name or names of those individuals one would like to have access to certain digital assets.

Estate planning is an involved process. There is a lot to it, a lot to think about and a lot of decisions to make. It can all be overwhelming. New Jersey residents can turn to legal counsel in order to ensure their estate plans are up to par and cover all bases — including digital assets.