Digital assets include electronic investment or bank accounts, emails, documents and photographs stored in the cloud, social media accounts, online medical records, and so on. It is illegal for anyone to access your accounts without your permission even if they have your password and are acting as your fiduciary. Upon death or incapacitation, these accounts may be closed and the information lost forever or the accounts may be left open and subject to identity thieves.
There was a time when reducing a very onerous form of taxation was reason enough to endure the complexities and frequent confusion associated with planning one’s estate. Many of the decisions were focused solely on death, and the process frequently sidestepped the more common and important issues like long-term care, mental incapacity and property ownership.
Currently, only estates in excess of $5.43 million are subject to an estate tax and those who are married can have a combined estate of nearly $11 million. Hence, it turns out the estate tax should not be the main motivation for most of us to do estate planning.