Digital asset management will continue to change as new devices, applications, and technologies develop.
Digital asset protection is more than leaving behind one’s passwords. In an increasingly paperless world, failing to create instructions for accessing digital accounts could create problems for surviving family members.
Digital asset protection plans may include powers of attorney that allow individuals to appoint designated persons with access to digital accounts in the event the account owner is incapacitated or dies. Last year North Carolina proposed legislation that would have allowed management of digital assets through powers of attorney and by personal representatives of a decedent’ estate; these provisions did not pass.
Several consequences may result from an individual failing to create a digital asset protection plan, here are only a few:
- Sentimental photos and other media are lost forever.
- Business operations could be interrupted if domain registrations are lost. Some domains are significant financial assets and their value may provide for surviving family members.
- Failure to comply with an account’s guidelines could forfeit access indefinitely.