Are your digital assets inheritable by your next-of-kin?
Lets start by defining what are digital assets and how is it different compared to physical assets. Digital Assets basically are your cryptocurrency, NFTS, instagram, twitter or facebook accounts and so on. However, digital assets are not the same as your physical assets as all you need to do is list them out in a Will and have it legalize. Once legalized, your beneficiaries have the right to inherit it. What about your digital assets? We will discuss further in this article.
What happens to your digital assets?
Regarding the management of digital assets after one’s passing, they are primarily categorized into two main types: social media accounts and digital financial accounts.
- Social Media Pages
Certain social media platforms offer a functionality that enables users to convert their accounts into memorials in the event of their passing. Facebook, for instance, provides such an option. In this arrangement, a designated individual will assume responsibility for managing your Facebook account once you’re no longer present.
In the case of Instagram, particularly for Influencers with a substantial following and numerous likes, these accounts tend to hold significant value due to the attention they garner, often sought after by many product companies for advertising purposes. Instagram strictly prohibits the sale or purchase of accounts, and if you wish to transfer ownership, you must obtain Instagram’s consent. However, if you intend to bequeath your Instagram account in your Will, you can record your password, as Instagram will not provide it even if it is mentioned in the Will.
What are cryptocurrencies? They are online currencies which holds certain value such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solano and so on. Including cryptocurrencies in your last will and testament operates in much the same way as bequeathing your traditional bank accounts and other assets, with one additional requirement. You will still need to itemize all your cryptocurrency accounts within your will, specifying the types of cryptocurrencies you possess and the respective amounts held in your electronic wallets.
Nevertheless, accessing your account may present challenges, particularly for individuals who lack technical expertise. The most secure approach would involve documenting clear instructions on retrieving your login credentials and executing cryptocurrency withdrawals or sales.
NFTs can encompass digital and online assets, which may include items such as photos, videos, audio files, artwork, gaming tokens, or any variety of digital files. Each Non-Fungible Token (NFT) possesses its unique code, ensuring the absence of counterfeit versions. They are typically constructed using the same programming principles as cryptocurrencies. Unlike physical money and cryptocurrencies, which are considered “fungible” and can be freely traded or exchanged for one another, maintaining equal value (one dollar is always equivalent to another dollar, and one Bitcoin is always equal to another Bitcoin), NFTs are distinct. Each NFT is characterized by a digital signature, rendering them non-interchangeable or of equal value to one another, hence the term “non-fungible.”
Much like with cryptocurrencies, you should outline clear instructions for selling your NFTs. Additionally, you can provide guidance on the optimal timing for their sale, as you possess the most insight into their value.
You might not consider digital assets to hold significant importance, but they indeed do. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this article, you will have gained a clearer comprehension of the fate of your digital assets after your passing.