If you are reading this article, it can be assumed that you have digital assets. You rely on the Internet for success. If you own a business, you may depend on your email to connect with your clients and to keep in touch with business partners. You probably also have a Facebook and Twitter account.Image via CrunchBase
If you are like me, you do all of your banking on-line, your shopping through Amazon and purchase music through iTunes. But digital assets, which include anything from your Gmail account to your Facebook profile to the authorship of your blog, can have value far beyond dollars and cents. So the question remains: What happens when you pass away? What should your business partners do?
Common digital assets include:
- Your Email Accounts
- Your Social Media Accounts
- Financial Account information such as your bank account.
- Your Online Bill Paying
- Audio and video files
- Company Social Media Accounts, including company Facebook and Twitter profiles.
- Corporate Email
- Work for Hire saved via Dropbox or other cloud provider.
Your family or business partners have no right of access your digital assets without written consent. If you run a small businesses, you run a risk of halting daily operations or even destroying the company as your family members and business partners try to sort through the rights to digital assets.
Social media assets, are so new that most courts have not yet even developed rules for distribution. This is what you should do to protect yourself:
- TAKE STOCK OF ALL OF YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS. Make a list of all of the digital devices that you own. Write down all of your passwords and provide detailed instructions as to your wishes.
- IDENTIFY A PARTY WHO YOU TRUST TO BE RESPONSIBLE. You may even want to provide some passwords to your wife while leave others to your business partner.
- DRAFT A WILL IDENTIFYING WHERE THE DIGITAL ASSETS SHOULD BE DISPENSED.
- DRAFT INSTRUCTIONS TO YOUR BUSINESS PARTNERS AND KEY EMPLOYEES.
The Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson represents small businesses and individuals.