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Estate planning for the digital age

All residents of Ontario should make provisions for the distribution of their estates after they pass away. For some, this may mean little more than creating a simple will and granting power of attorney in case of incapacitation. For those with more complicated estates, careful estate planning is essential, especially in the digital era of the 21st century.

The concept of digital property is relatively new, and individuals frequently overlook it during estate planning. However, digital assets are far more common than many people realize. Almost everyone has digital assets, even if they are as simple as frequent flyer miles or a social media account.

For some, digital assets may be even more complex. Online retailers may store funds in digital accounts, such as PayPal, and even the domain itself might have value. Crypto-currency - of which Bitcoin is the best-known example - is a form of online currency that has no physical form, but which can be very valuable. Anyone holding digital funds of this sort should make certain to include these in his or her estate plan.

Making and maintaining a complete list of one's digital assets will help simplify the task of estate administration when the time comes. Compiling a list of necessary passwords will also greatly assist the executor. Once compiled, care must be taken to keep a list of this nature secure and up to date.

The assets of many modern estates extend past the traditional holdings that most people include in their wills. Detailed estate planning may be the key to avoiding a difficult situation for one's heirs and other beneficiaries. A skilled and thorough Ontario lawyer can assist with this process.

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Merovitz Potechin LLP
300-1565 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R1

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