Schedule A Consultation Today 425-336-2908

Helping You Plan Your Future And Solve Your Problems

View Our Practice Areas

E-mail, social media and digital assets in an estate plan

When crafting their estate plans, Washington residents think a lot about how to divide their financial assets, sentimental items and uniquely valuable pieces of property such as artwork or antiques. These are all important things to consider, but there is another category of assets many people forget about: digital assets.

As more Americans are spending more of their time online, they are building up e-mail addresses, social media pages and other online accounts. Some of these have value mostly in a sentimental sense, like an old diary or address book. Others, such as online investment accounts, online bank accounts or bitcoin accounts, can have real monetary value.

When the owner of these accounts dies without working digital assets into an estate plan, it can lead to a lot of confusion. In some cases, heirs might not even know about the existence of the assets if they are not mentioned in a will or other estate planning documents. In others, the heirs and executor may know about the assets but not be able to access them because they don't have the passwords. In some of these cases, those trying to access the accounts may even fall afoul of laws that were designed to combat hackers.

Many, if not most of these problems can be avoided by making digital assets part of the distribution of property in a will or trust. Estate planning documents can provide passwords or other information and empower an executor to oversee the digital assets.

There are many things to consider when crafting an estate plan. A Washington estate planning attorney can help clients to plan for all kinds of assets and circumstances.

Source: USA Today, "Estate plan should pass down digital heirlooms," Sue Doerfler, April 17, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Make Your Consultation Appointment

To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us

Kent Office
8407 S. 259th Street
Suite 203
Kent, WA 98030

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 253-852-0400
Kent Law Office Map

Kent Office

Spokane Office
505 W. Riverside Avenue
Suite 500
Spokane, WA 99201

Phone: 425-336-2908
Fax: 509-769-0202
Map & Directions

Spokane Office