Estate planning starts with taking an inventory of the assets that you own and then deciding how to divide those assets between your heirs. Many people own a lot of things that they haven’t even considered in a long time – or that they’ve entirely forgotten about – so simply making this inventory can be eye-opening. You don’t want to overlook anything.
One thing that you may have discovered is that you have a lot of digital products. This could include movies that you’ve purchased online or albums that you have downloaded. For some, it could mean they have thousands of dollars worth of games and other digital content. Is it possible to put these expensive files into your estate plan?
You may not actually own anything
With physical items, it’s clear that you actually own them, and you can pass them on to someone else. A DVD or a CD belongs to you, and it can later belong to your child in the same way that a dining room table or a book collection would.
However, you may find that you don’t actually own any of your digital products. A lot of companies that sell these products do not transfer ownership. Instead, they give you the option to purchase a license. The company still owns the movie or other media items, and you can use your license to watch that movie whenever you want. But you do not own it and you’re not allowed to transfer that license to someone else. When you pass away, it simply ends.
This is just one way that modern estate planning can get more complicated than it has been in the past. If you’re working your way through this process, you need to make sure you understand all of your legal rights and obligations.