YOU ARE A DIGITAL MAVERICK OR MAVEN

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…then you likely have a plan to transfer your digital assets. Right? McAfee provided a perceived value of digital assets for a person living in the United States of about $54,722.00.1 Not too shabby.

What about the Gamer? I am not a Gamer, unless you count assisting my six year old with her Brave Temple Run game;2 however, a planet for the Entropia Universe sold for $6 Million in 2001.3 That’s right, a virtual planet equals $6 million in the bank! That planet was part of someone’s digital estate. If no one knows you have a digital asset(s) no one can transfer, sell or distribute the digital asset at your death. What about your story, the bits and pieces you leave behind for loved ones. Diaries and photos left on computers are often lost. Families often deem decedent’s computer as outdated or obsolete, forgetting the treasure trove of information stored on the hard drive.

I think it is easier to use real life examples of digital assets, rather than getting bogged down in a technical term that continues to morph. Consider the following examples as you think about your digital assets.

* Social Media Outlets – Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter
* Financial Accounts – Amazon, PayPal, and eBay
* Domain Names, Emails and Blogs
* Loyalty Program Benefits
* Passwords and Logins
* Photos and Digital Files Stored On Flickr, Picasa, Shutterfly
* Pinterest and Instagram
* Virtual Worlds – World of Warcraft and Second Life
* Professional Data Backups

My dear Mavericks and Mavens, add protecting and planning for your digital afterlife as a to-do item: upgrade system, read book on SEO, get materials for blog post craft and contact my estate-planning attorney to incorporate my digital estate.

There are companies that can maintain and store your information. Working with your estate-planning attorney is another great option. Every state has different laws on how to handle accessing digital assets. As do the various companies…remember those click wrap agreements you didn’t bother to read. Even the Federal Government has gotten in on the act.4 Listing specific powers in your will concerning your digital assets might be the solution, or maybe creating a trust is the best option for you. You won’t know what the best option is if you don’t start looking into Digital Assets and the After Life.

1http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/news/2011/q3/20110927-01.aspx
2http://games.disney.com/temple-run-brave-app
3 Naveen Kumar, Most Expensive Virtual Real Estate Sales, Bornrich.com (Apr.23, 2011)
4 http://blog.usa.gov/post/22261234875/social-media-will
Photo by mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

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