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Porter Ramsay Blog

Wills and estates: Taking digital assets into consideration

There are many things to think about when writing an estate plan. When British Columbia residents take some times to think about their wills and estates, they need to pay some attention to their digital assets as well as physical and monetary ones. Digital assets could include social media accounts, email addresses, digital photos, social media pages, online accounts like PayPal and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. 

Canadians who want their social media pages deleted after they’ve died need to leave instructions for an executor to do so. In fact, instructions should be written in a will as to what to do with all digital accounts, including the transfer of any points systems the testator had, such as air miles. Cryptocurrencies are taxable in Canada and must be reported as capital gains, so estate planning should take that into consideration.

Instructions should also be left regarding accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, to name some of the most popular. Some of these assets include privacy issues, so they’re relevant to estate planning. Most people don’t want their information floating around in the technological ether after they’re gone.

A British Columbia lawyer may be able to help a client to figure out what documents should be included when discussing wills and estates. Digital assets are important to many people and as such should be addressed in estate plans. Leaving them out may cause added stress for family members who would need to figure out what to do with them if no explicit instructions were detailed in an estate plan.