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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.

    The content on this website is for information purposes only and is not legal advice, which cannot be given without knowing the facts of a specific situation. You should never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. The use of the website does not establish a solicitor and client relationship. If you would like to discuss your specific legal needs with us, please contact our office at 613-563-7544 and one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you.

    Posted By: Timothy J. Grieve of Merovitz Potechin LLP

    Partner

    When it comes to sophisticated estate and succession planning, Tim Grieve is noted for his attention to detail, his ability to analyze complex situations, and his knack for explaining legal scenarios to his clients in everyday language. Tim thoroughly understands the needs of high net worth clients, entrepreneurs and professionals. His practice includes wills, trusts and estates, business and corporate law, franchising, commercial real estate and not-for-profit corporations.

    Tim is one of the founding members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Ottawa branch and is the chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (Canada).

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