Raleigh Digital Estate Planning Attorney Pioneering New Area of Law

Stephen P Stewart Law has been helping clients solve their business, estate and tax problems for over 25 years. Now, Stephen Stewart is encouraging clients to think differently about their digital footprint, and carefully consider their digital estate plan. 

Stephen P. Stewart, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation) has practiced law in the state of North Carolina for over 25 years concentrating in the areas of business, estate and tax law and is pioneering a new area of law called "digital estate planning."Digital estate planning is just one of many services which Stephen P Stewart Law offers clients, and in this increasingly digital age, its importance is growing more prevalent by the day; in fact, no one in this new digital age should find themselves without a digital estate plan amendment to their traditional estate plan and for those without any estate plan, don’t even consider finalizing an estate plan without including your digital assets and digital accounts (ie. onine banking, iTunes, Gmail, Office365 and more).  

Stephen Stewart’s digital estate planning is a brand new frontier practice which guarantees the future plans and wishes of his Raleigh clients, should the worst happen, and ensuring that your beneficiaries have access to the accounts according to your plans and wishes. Did you know, for instance, that access to your online accounts and privacy is not guaranteed upon your passing? It’s time to do something to protect your online profiles, no matter the circumstances. 

Without a digital estate plan, we all risk handing over complete control of our digital accounts to the companies in question. If our wishes are not clear, it’s the terms of conditions of these accounts which will prevail. And that’s why we all need to think clearly about our digital estate planning, to ensure that we retain control over what is becoming an increasingly powerful and valuable resource in our lives. 

Digital assets are incredibly varied, and many people might not even know they have them. However, estate planning attorney Stephen Stewart recommends you think carefully about the online accounts you hold, and think about what makes up your own digital estate. It’s likely that there’s far more to it than you think! 

A properly constructed digital estate plan is vital for those who hold any of the following accounts: Apple iTunes, photos or iCloud, Gmail, Google drive or GSuite accounts, Microsoft Office365, Amazon account, online investment accounts, online banking accounts, any/all apps on your smartphone, business accounts that contain client data, online dating accounts, password apps/services, online shopping accounts with sensitive data and purchase history, e-commerce and 3rd party website accounts like Shopify or Wix.

Digital estate planning covers a whole range of assets, including hardware such as computers, hard drives, tablets, smartphones, digital cameras, e-readers, music players and other devices. There’s also data to consider, whether that’s stored via the cloud, on your own hard drive or online via other services such as Dropbox. 

Domain names too must be considered. If you hold a valuable domain name you’ll definitely want to plan for the future and ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Think about your online accounts too, such as email addresses, social media accounts, bank accounts like PayPal, photography accounts, gaming accounts and relevant communication held within these. 

Many people don’t realize that they also need to think carefully about the content they’ve posted via online accounts, communication and correspondence held within these sites, and all the information required to access the accounts themselves. Our online accounts hold a wealth of information about us, from personal information to credit details and even browsing history. When you start to delve deeper into the data that your own social accounts hold, you might be surprised by what you find. 

Another valuable part of digital estate planning is intellectual property. Many of us own important intellectual property which is entirely digital, for example copyrighted materials, trademarks or any code which you have written personally. 

It’s time to think differently about family estate planning. The future is digital. Learn more about digital estate planning here


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