Estate plans should include digital assets

Home /

Blog /

Estate Plans Should Include Digital Assets

It seems like every time we turn on the news, we hear about a new cryptocurrency making early investors millions. Indeed, Bitcoin or Dogecoin seem to be in the news at least once a week. These are the digital assets that most people are familiar with: cryptocurrencies. However, there is an entire world of other digital assets that need to be included estate plans.

Social media is a digital asset

What happens to our social media at death? If it is not in an estate plan, one’s entire social media becomes a zombie, still there, forever active, but never changing. Some social media websites will not give access to anyone other than the owner, regardless of a power of attorney, and others may even delete the account when notice of death is given. However, some families want to keep these digital assets for posterity, or create a permanent, digital memorial for their loved one. Without access though (usernames, passwords and a power of attorney), our families may not be able to use our social media.

Bills as digital assets

Another digital asset that is often overlooked are bills, including streaming platforms, utilities, student loans, rent and mortgage payments, etc. If one is incapacitated, some of these bills should still be paid, while others can probably be put on hold. Though, again, without access (usernames, passwords and a power of attorney), our families will not have access. Indeed, some bills refuse to take payments from unauthorized individuals. If one is married, and the other spouse does not have access to the utility accounts, they could face no power, no heat, no water and even an eviction or foreclosure.

Financial accounts

Brokerage accounts, banking accounts, crypto-wallets, and other financial accounts should also be included. Most Haddonfield, New Jersey, residents realize this, and access is granted through a power of attorney. However, an easier way to grant immediate access is often with a username and password.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

Meet Your Attorney


Attorney Mike took our call & agreed to meet with us for a free consultation. During our meeting he was very thorough in explaining the legal process, approach, cost, and time needed for our case. His fee was very reasonable. I would definitely recommend him to others. You certainly will not regret it should you decide to use his services.
— R. Maraj