computerThe world of estate planning has seen a significant evolution in recent years. One area that has become increasingly crucial is the management and protection of digital assets. As more and more of our lives become digitized, it is essential to recognize that the realm of estate planning must expand to cover these assets as well. These include everything from our social media accounts, online banking and trading accounts, email accounts, to cryptocurrencies and more.

What Are Digital Assets?

Before we dive into how to protect them, let's define what we mean by "digital assets". Digital assets are any pieces of content or media that exist in digital form. They can be tangible assets, such as digital currencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) or digital securities (stocks, bonds, etc. that are held in a digital format). They also include intangible assets like social media accounts, blogs, websites, and digital photos.

Why Should You Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan?

Ignoring digital assets in estate planning could result in several complications. For example, your family might lose access to sentimental digital items like photos and emails. There can also be significant financial implications. Suppose you have substantial holdings in cryptocurrencies but no instructions on accessing them. In that case, these assets could be lost forever, as cryptocurrencies are typically protected by strong encryption that can't be bypassed.

Furthermore, if you don't plan for your digital assets, you leave their fate to be determined by the various terms of service agreements that you agreed to with each provider. For example, social media giants like Facebook and Instagram have specific policies for handling a deceased user's account, which may not align with your wishes.

Steps for Protecting Your Digital Assets

Now that we understand why digital assets need to be included in estate planning, let's look at how to protect them.

  1. Identify Your Digital Assets: Make a comprehensive list of all your digital assets. This should include everything from your social media accounts, digital photos, and emails to your digital financial assets like online bank accounts, PayPal, stock trading accounts, and cryptocurrencies.
  2. Organize Access: Determine the best way for your executor or digital estate manager to access these accounts. Keep a secure, encrypted document or use a password manager to store login information. Never put passwords in your will, as it becomes a public document after your death.
  3. Choose a Digital Executor: Choose a trusted individual who will be responsible for managing your digital assets upon your passing. This could be the same person as your traditional executor, or it could be someone else who you believe has the knowledge and ability to handle your digital estate.
  4. Provide Clear Instructions: Be clear about what you want to happen with each asset. Do you want your accounts closed, archived, or memorialized? Should certain assets be transferred to specific people?
  5. Legalize Your Digital Estate Plan: Ensure that your digital estate plan is legal and binding. Laws regarding digital assets vary greatly, and they are continually evolving. Working with an experienced attorney ensures your wishes will be carried out.


Digital assets are an increasingly significant part of our lives, and their value—whether financial or sentimental—should not be overlooked in the estate planning process. At Quraishi Law and Wealth, we understand the unique challenges presented by the digital age, and we're here to help guide you through the process of protecting these assets for your loved ones.

Remember, effective estate planning is about more than just material wealth; it's about preserving your legacy in its entirety. Don't let the digital part of your legacy get lost in the shuffle—contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect your digital assets.

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