What is a digital asset and why would it need protection? Before you can understand how best to protect your parents’ digital assets in the new year, this can be a good question to answer. A digital asset is any type of information that you have stored online, including usernames and passwords for email and social media accounts, online banking and credit card information, and photos and videos saved on the cloud. If this information falls into the wrong hands, a tremendous amount of damage can be done. The elderly can be particularly vulnerable to phishing and other scams, which means it can be even more important to help make sure these assets are protected.
Let us take a look at three steps to ensuring that your aging parents’ digital assets are protected.
- Make a list. The first step in protecting digital assets may be identifying all of the digital assets that your parents have. This can include all email account usernames and passwords, all usernames and passwords to other websites, all online membership information, all online banking and credit card accounts, etc.
- Password protect their passwords. Once a list of all digital assets has been created, it may be time to password protect that information. There are online password manager tools that you can use to keep the information secure, or you can print out a hard copy and store the information in a safe and secure place, like a fire-proof safe or security box.
- Consult with an attorney. A final step to ensuring that your parents’ digital assets are protected may be to consult with an estate planning or elder law attorney. Even if your parents already have an estate plan in place, it can be important to make sure it is updated to account for their digital assets, including giving their heirs access and rights to the digital assets upon death or incapacity.
To learn more about how to protect and plan for digital assets, please reach out to our office to schedule a meeting time.