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Don't forget digital assets in an estate plan

Investors in Colorado and throughout the country may need to create specific provisions in their estate plan to account for digital assets. For instance, individuals who own digital coins should keep a list of each coin that they have and how much they have. This list should be updated on a regular basis depending on how often they trade. In addition to keeping good records related to digital holdings, they will need to tell others how to access those assets.

For instance, if an account is protected by a password, it will need to be written down somewhere an executor can access it. If an account can only be opened with a signature, an executor or other authorized person would need to know that as well. Anyone with digital currency holdings or other digital accounts should be sure that someone has the legal authority to access them after they pass.

Currently, only 42 states have laws that allow online assets to be treated like physical assets. However, those laws are broad enough to account for products that haven't been created yet or to otherwise cover situations that may not occur that often today. Over the next few years, electronic wills may also become standardized. The Uniform Law Commission will come out with draft legislation in July 2019.

An individual who holds any type of asset may benefit from engaging in the estate planning process. In addition to retaining control over what happens to assets after death, an estate plan may make it possible to name a guardian for a child. A plan may also allow individuals to name others to make financial or healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become mentally incapacitated. An attorney may help draft plan documents or review those already in existence.

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