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Digital assets after death

Written by Michael Anastasov

Edited by Gabriella Ferraro


There is currently no law in Australia that governs what happens to your digital assets when you die, but it is important to note that digital assets do form part of your estate. In this post, we offer tips for managing these assets during your lifetime to assist your loved ones after your death.

What are digital assets?


Digital assets refer to intangible possessions that exist solely in the digital realm. This includes digital properties, videos, e-books, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), digital wallets and cryptocurrencies.


Given the intangibility of these assets, accessing, and managing them after the account holder's death is a complex task that requires careful consideration. The following tips can streamline this stressful process and should be implemented during a person's lifetime for convenience in the event of an account holder's death.

Tips for Managing Digital Assets


1. Keep Lists:


Create a detailed list of digital assets held by you. This involves gathering essential information such as account details, encryption keys, and other relevant documentation. By having a comprehensive list, it will be easier to locate and identify the assets after the death of the account holder.

2. Security and Passwords:


There are often privacy and security measures put in place to protect digital assets. Navigating privacy laws, terms of service agreements, and password protection is crucial to gaining access to the deceased's digital assets. Without access, the digital assets will be locked. Therefore, it is extremely important that passwords and security questions are documented to ensure access to the assets is not restricted.

3. Technical Aspects:


There are various legal and technical aspects involved in dealing with cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Without a deep understanding, individuals may face problems accessing digital wallets, handling private keys, and managing exchanges. Additionally, different counties have different laws concerning digital assets. Given this, it is recommended you reach out to an expert with a sound understanding of the digital world when establishing your digital assets and certainly when dealing with the deceased’s digital estate.


4. Planning Ahead:


Developing a digital estate plan alongside a traditional Will is essential. This will help in avoiding some of the complexities that have been identified in this blog. A digital estate plan should outline the individual’s wishes regarding the distribution, management, and ownership of their digital assets. Creating a digital estate plan will ensure a smooth administration of the digital estate. In this difficult period, another benefit of being proactive is that it will alleviate the burden on family members.

Conclusion


The ever-growing nature of digital assets in the modern world increases the importance of managing these assets. Careful attention must be applied to the deceased estate demands. By following the tips outlined in this post, individuals can navigate the complexities, protect their digital legacy, and provide peace of mind to their loved ones.


Seeking professional legal advice is crucial to ensure a comprehensive and successful management strategy. The information in this blog is for general information only. If you require advice on any topics mentioned in this article, please contact our office to speak to one of our experienced solicitors.

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