Contact Us Today! (949) 305-8642


"Never Ignore Digital Assets: The Overlooked Element in Modern Estate Planning"

Posted by James Burns | Mar 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

In the digital era, estate planning has evolved beyond physical assets and legal documents to include a new, critical category: digital assets. This expanded definition necessitates a reevaluation of estate planning strategies to incorporate the digital realm. The Law Office of James Burns, situated in Orange County, California, is pioneering in this field, providing clients with structured written plans and access to secure, encrypted cloud tools for comprehensive digital asset management.

Demystifying Digital Assets

Digital assets are any online accounts or files stored on digital devices or the cloud, which hold either monetary or sentimental value. These range from the tangible, such as cryptocurrencies and online banking details, to the sentimental, like digital photos and videos, to intellectual properties including blogs, domain names, and digital rights. Furthermore, digital business assets, such as customer databases, email lists, and social media accounts, play a pivotal role in the valuation of modern businesses.

Types of Digital Assets


  • Financial Assets: These include online banking, brokerage accounts, and cryptocurrencies.


  • Social Media and Email Accounts: Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and email accounts.


  • Online Businesses: E-commerce stores, blogs, and other online business assets.


  • Digital Collections: eBooks, music, movies, and online game accounts.


  • Intellectual Property: Digital works, patents, and copyrights stored digitally.


The Need for a Digital Asset Estate Plan

As our lives become increasingly digital, the necessity of including these assets in estate plans becomes paramount. A digital asset estate plan ensures that your online presence is managed according to your wishes after your passing. Without a proper plan in place, valuable or sentimental digital assets may become inaccessible or fall into the wrong hands. Moreover, the rapid growth of digital assets has outpaced many legal systems, leading to ambiguity and complications in managing these assets after death.

Creating Your Digital Asset Estate Plan

Creating a digital asset estate plan involves several key steps. First, inventory your digital assets, noting login information and how each asset should be handled after your passing. Next, appoint a digital executor, someone you trust to manage your digital assets according to your wishes. It's crucial to provide this executor with legal authority in your will or estate plan, detailing the scope of their powers and responsibilities.

After appointing a digital executor, provide instructions for each type of digital asset. For example, you may wish for certain online accounts to be deleted, while others are transferred to loved ones. Finally, securely store this information and ensure your executor can access it when needed. Regularly update your digital asset estate plan to reflect new assets or changes in your wishes.

Creating a Digital Asset Estate Plan: A Step-by-Step Guide


  1. Inventory Your Digital Assets: Compile a comprehensive list of your digital assets, including accounts and digital files, with usernames and passwords.


  1. Appoint a Digital Executor: Choose a trusted individual to manage your digital assets in accordance with your wishes and grant them legal authority in your will.


  1. Define Access Instructions: Detail how each asset should be handled—whether to be transferred, archived, or deleted.


  1. Legal Incorporation: Ensure your digital asset plan is included in your legal estate planning documents, with clear instructions and legal authority for your executor.


  1. Regular Updates: As your digital footprint expands, regularly update your estate plan to include new digital assets or changes to existing ones.


Social Media's Role in Digital Estate Planning

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have recognized the importance of managing digital legacies. Facebook allows users to appoint a "Legacy Contact" to manage their account posthumously, offering options to memorialize or delete the account. Twitter provides a process for deactivating a deceased user's account, while Instagram offers options to memorialize or remove accounts. These mechanisms are vital components of digital estate planning, ensuring that one's digital legacy is handled according to their wishes.

How The Law Office of James Burns Can Assist

The Law Office of James Burns stands at the forefront of digital estate planning. With an in-depth understanding of both the legal and technological facets of digital assets, the firm offers bespoke planning services. Clients benefit from encrypted cloud tools for the secure management of digital assets, ensuring comprehensive coverage of their estate, inclusive of digital assets.


As our lives become increasingly intertwined with the digital world, the inclusion of digital assets in estate planning is not just advisable—it's imperative. The Law Office of James Burns offers expert guidance and innovative solutions for the integration of digital assets into estate planning, ensuring your digital legacy is preserved and protected. For a secure, encrypted digital asset plan, contact James Burns at (949) 305-8642 or visit Embrace the comprehensive future of estate planning with the Law Office of James Burns.

About the Author

James Burns

Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business and Real Estate Transactions, nutraceutical Law and franchising:


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment