This accumulation of digital assets is an inevitable component of advances in technology and increased online usage. Regardless of whether these assets hold financial worth or purely sentimental value, they can easily slip through the cracks of the estate planning process without the proper knowledge.
It is important to incorporate digital assets into an estate plan, such as electronic tax returns, e-bank accounts and PayPal accounts, as well as digital assets that are often lost at death - online bank accounts, emails, domain names, etc. A comprehensive estate plan should seek to assist the fiduciary in having the ability to retrieve this information when the decedent no longer can.
New Jersey Assembly Bill A3433 and Senate Bill 2527 are currently before the Governor. Specifically, the proposed bills relate to the Revised Uniform Access to Digital Assets Act, which gives executors as much access to digital assets as they have to tangible assets (with some potential limitations). Similar bills have been passed in many other states and now New Jersey is on the precipice in coming into the “digital age”. Irrespective of whether Governor Christie passes the bill, one’s estate plan should incorporate a digital asset provision in the estate plan in order to provide the executor/executrix with some guidance for the utilization of digital assets.
For more information please contact via email Steven A. Loeb, Esq. or by phone at 973-538-4700 ext. 229.
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