How To Manage Digital Real Estate in Your Estate Plan
August 14, 2023
In the digital world, virtual property, or digital real estate, refers to intangible assets that hold value in the online realm. It encompasses various forms, including:
- Domain Names: Valuable web addresses that represent brands or businesses.
- Websites and Blogs: Digital platforms with content, services, or products attracting visitors and generating revenue.
- Virtual Worlds: Online gaming environments where players can own virtual land, assets, and currencies.
- Social Media Accounts: Accounts with a significant following and brand value.
The Legal Implications of Virtual Property Ownership and Transfer
The legal treatment of digital real estate can be complex, as it often involves international jurisdictions, various terms of service agreements, and intellectual property rights. When incorporating digital real estate into your estate plan, consider the following aspects:
- Terms of Service Agreements: Review the terms of each platform to understand how they handle account ownership and transfer after death.
- Copyright and Trademarks: Ensure the ownership of digital real estate doesn’t infringe on copyrighted or trademarked material.
- Digital Asset Valuation: Determine the monetary value of your digital real estate to facilitate proper distribution and taxation.
Incorporating Digital Real Estate into Your Estate Plan
To manage digital real estate effectively in your estate plan, follow these steps:
- Inventory: List all digital real estate assets you own. Providing details on ownership, login credentials, and revenue generation.
- Appoint a Digital Executor: Designate a digital executor who understands the intricacies of digital real estate.
- Communicate Your Wishes: Clearly state how you want each digital real estate asset to be handled, transferred, or monetized after your passing.
- Regular Updates: Periodically review and update your estate plan to reflect changes in the digital real estate landscape.
Examples of Famous Cases Involving Digital Real Estate in Estate Disputes
Several high-profile cases have showcased the significance of digital real estate in estate planning:
- Inherit the Earth: A court case where a woman left her online gaming estate, including virtual property, to her partner.
- Social Media Account Ownership: Instances where heirs fought for control over the social media accounts of deceased loved ones, with differing outcomes based on platform plans.
As the digital world continues to expand, digital real estate becomes increasingly valuable in estate planning. By acknowledging the legal complexities and incorporating digital real estate into your plan, you can protect your digital legacy and ensure your virtual property is managed according to your wishes.
Utilizing a Digital Estate Protection service such as Noni enables you to effectively and efficiently and incorporate your digital estate plan into your will. As a result, you’ll have peace of mind that your Digital Legacy will be taken care of, and your virtual property will be managed according to you wishes.
At Noni, we strive to provide assistance in navigating the complex realm of digital affairs of the Estate. Our mission is to:
- Empower consumers to plan for the disposition or transfer of their digital assets. Ensuring their wishes are respected and their loved ones are supported during a difficult time.
- Help families navigate the complexities of winding up the digital affairs of a deceased loved one. Providing guidance and support every step of the way.
- Assist online providers in managing the online accounts of their deceased users. Helping them to honor their users’ privacy and safeguard their information.
Through our services, we aim to bring clarity, compassion, and expertise to an often-overlooked aspect of modern life. Our mission is to help our clients feel confident that their digital legacy is in good hands.