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You may not own your digital assets

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2020 | Wills

Digital products are taking over. You don’t own a shelf full of CDs and tapes. You have a phone full of digital albums that you can bring up with a click. You don’t have a cabinet full of DVDs. You have an Amazon account where you can log in and stream whatever you want. You don’t even have books on your bookshelves anymore. You own ebooks that you read on a variety of devices, while your shelves collect dust.

So, what do you do with all of these items? You have invested thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of dollars in your collections. You want to leave them to your children just as your parents left their entertainment collections to you.

One good place to start is by checking the fine print. While all services are different, many do not actually sell you the products that you buy. That’s right. Instead, they sell you a license. They still own the product. The license allows you to use it whenever you want. This makes you feel like you own it, but you really own access to it.

And, if that’s the case, they may also say that you cannot transfer your license to anyone else. You can’t give it to a friend. You can’t leave it to your children. Only you are allowed to use the license, and it expires when you pass away.

As you can see, modern estate planning can get complicated and may come with some unexpected hurdles. Make sure you are well aware of the steps you need to take to protect your interest, your heirs and your estate.


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