Often times in estate planning the most important thing for people is not who gets their money. That is easy. It is often more difficult to decide who gets your important personal property, those things that are an expression of who you are and what is important to you in a way that money can never be. Leaving your personal property to someone else can be even more complicated if you are talking about your digital property.
As an example, audiophiles have always been proud of their music collections. They have hundreds, if not thousands, of well-organized albums. It can be an all-consuming hobby. Imagine that you are an audiophile and lets say that you want to leave your collection to a daughter who shares your passion. In the past, you would have had physical records, tapes or CDs. These physical items are relatively easy to give to your daughter after you pass away. Today, however, audiophiles do not have anything physical. They have digital files stored on computers. Those are much more difficult to leave to someone else. They are often subject to strict licensing terms and have digital rights management that makes them difficult to share with other people.
As with the music collection example, other types of digital assets have similar complicating issues. Talk to your attorney about your digital property and how you can leave it to your heirs.
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Ryan M. DenmanandDennis D. Duffy
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