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For many Maryland residents, addressing an estate and how it should be handled in the event of a death may be a daunting task. There are often various property and assets that may need to be accounted for, and individuals could have a difficult time deciding to whom they want their assets to be bequeathed. However, the benefits from creating an estate plan are often well worth the time spent on it.

Though many individuals likely first think of their physical property when it comes to division and instructions, they may also need to remember their digital assets. It was recently reported that only 45 percent of Americans have created estate plans, and of that percentage, many have not taken the time to account for their digital assets. Some parties may not even know what to consider a digital asset.

If this is the case, individuals would benefit from taking an inventory of their accounts. Online bank and investment accounts may be the first to come to mind and are indeed important to address. If family members are not aware of such accounts, funds may be left sitting unattended. In addition to bank accounts, there are other personal accounts that family members may need to be aware of as well. Online photo albums, email accounts, subscription services and numerous other accounts could exist and be left abandoned without the proper information.

Though it makes sense to follow traditional estate planning methods when beginning to create a plan, it may also prove useful to expand certain aspects of it. As technology continues to be a significant part of the lives of many individuals of all ages, having an informed estate plan that addresses digital assets is essential. If Maryland residents would like to find out more information on what may be considered a digital asset and how to address those assets, they can discuss their cases with an estate planning attorney.

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

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