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Electronic assets often overlooked in estate planning

In generations past, a New Jersey resident's wealth may have been more tangible than it is now. A person's money may have been saved in a location where that person could easily access it, and investments may have been in physical things as opposed to interests or stocks. Today, most people hold a variety of investments and assets that exist only on paper or in the electronic realm.

Digital or electronic assets can make up a big part of a person's estate, but are sometimes overlooked. This can be because estate planners do not actively manage their own electronic assets or because they do not regularly receive updates on the status of certain electronic accounts. Regardless of the reason, forgetting to include electronic assets in an estate plan can deprive an individual and potential beneficiaries of important and valuable wealth.

Retirement accounts, bank accounts and other forms of investments may all exist in digital space. Keeping records of these financial tools is critical to ensuring that they will be properly addressed when it comes to estate planning. Documentation of these digital assets can help in the preparation of wills, trusts and other estate planning tools.

Financial transactions now often happen in the electronic realm. A person's paper trail is now more likely to be comprised of digital data than of receipts and actual physical records. New Jersey residents should not let online accounts, digital savings or other electronic assets be lost when it comes to crafting a comprehensive estate plan.

Source: seekingalpha.com, "Estate Planning: Don't Forget Your Digital Assets!" Evan Powers, April 10, 2016

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