Cona Elder Law


Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

By Jennifer Cona, Esq. Originally published in the January issue of Long Island Press, Power of Your Attorney.

The law is notoriously slow to catch up to technology but not when it comes to digital assets. In fact, it’s on each of us to make sure we’ve properly planned and accounted for our digital assets in our estate planning.

What is a Digital Asset?

A digital asset includes email accounts, social media accounts, online storage services, online banking, computer files, and other electronic records. As our lives are increasingly managed and controlled online, so too must our estate planning reflect this reality.

Planning with Your Digital Assets in Mind

When reviewing your assets and gathering account information for estate and tax planning purposes, you should also gather and record usernames and passwords to your online accounts. Imagine you become incapacitated, and your child wishes to jump in and help with finances using his Power of Attorney. Your child who only banks online, attempts to access your checking account online and realizes he has no idea what your username and password are and further, has no idea where to find that information.

The same would hold true for an estate after the passing of a loved one; the family would have a much more difficult time identifying and gathering assets if usernames and passwords are unknown. If this digital asset information had been shared, loved ones could be spared the time and expense of a formal legal process in order to access accounts.

Steps to Take to Safeguard Your Digital Assets

At Cona Elder Law, we offer our estate planning clients a Legacy Logbook wherein all accounts, assets and liabilities are listed as well as their usernames, passwords and other pertinent information – keeping information streamlined, secure and organized for our clients’ benefit as well as the benefit of the next generation.

Review your Will and Power of Attorney to make sure your fiduciary has authority to access, manage and obtain copies of all digital assets under federal and state data privacy laws. If your estate planning documents do not provide for this, it’s time for an update. An updated Will and Power of Attorney is important to make sure that your digital assets are handled the way you want them to be. As laws and technologies change, your estate planning documents need to change with them.

Long Island Estate Planning Attorneys

Contact us at 631.390.5000 to update your estate planning documents. Our Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys are always available to discuss your needs.

Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cona Elder Law, an award-winning law firm concentrating in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, and health care law.  The firm has been ranked the #1 Elder Law Firm by Long Island Business News for eight consecutive years. For additional information, visit

About the Author Cona Elder Law

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