When Making Your Will In Oklahoma, Consider Your Digital Estate Too

Wednesday, May 23rd 2012, 9:53 am
By: News On 6

Many of us at some point will have to sit down make arrangements for a will or how we would like our estate handled once we die. But did you ever think about taking care of your digital estate too?

Experts say it is just as important when making arrangements about your digital estate property. Oklahoma's the trailblazer on this particular issue.

In 2010, state House Bill 2800 was passed. It allows executors to delete or administer online accounts of the deceased. It basically recognizes that digital assets like your Facebook account, Twitter or online bank accounts are important and should be recognized as an important part of one's estate.

Going online to write, check e-mails, tweet or make new friends on Facebook, it's practically a daily routine for millions of people around the world.

"It's a whole new world, it gives us a lot of options we've never had before, but it also raises some issues we haven't had to face," said Tulsa attorney Sandy Taylor.

Taylor is an attorney in Tulsa who handles estate-planning, probate law, trusts, wills and more. In the last six years he says digital estate-planning become more important, but here Oklahoma people aren't necessarily thinking about it, but they should.

"It can be a CD that you have recorded music on. It could be the hard drive on your computer. It could be your Facebook account, your Twitter account," said Sandy Taylor.

If you die, or become incapacitated and you don't have a digital estate, your families could face a lot of legal challenges trying to get access to your online accounts.

"I guess in part because some of these assets they don't think are important even though somebody else in the family does," said Sandy Taylor.

Many social media sites for example have strict policies on protecting the privacy of their accounts.

Taylor offers tips to help you start getting things in order. Do an inventory of all of your digital information, like bank accounts, pictures, account passwords, blogs, etc. Then, decide who you would allow access to that information if something happens to you.

Sit down and talk to your family about what pictures or other information they think are important. Get in contact with your attorney or someone you trust and make arrangements about how you would like your digital information handled.

Sandy Taylor says a lot of estate planning is more about the emotional aspect.

If you have pictures online they can get access to, it can help bring closure for your loved ones.

The American Bar Association also has information on digital estate planning.