There is no legal definition of a digital asset however it is generally accepted to describe two different concepts that have different legal consequences:
Digital assets do not fall neatly within a traditional estate plan. Digital records do not pass under a will, but digital property rights and interests do.
Digital records are part of the memory or storage of the computing device where they are recorded; they pass with, and as part of, the device. Many people today access photographs, videos, music, e-books, blogs, movies, emails, conversations, social media, games, bank accounts, medical records, and even maintain their identity - all online. These digital records can be just as precious and important as physical assets, and can have just as much sentimental value, but they have no separate proprietary existence or value. The digital property rights and interests that are associated with them, however, do have separate proprietary existence and may even have monetary value.
Many digital assets involve usernames and confidential passwords, the details of which are unsuitable to include in a conventional will. The security surrounding cryptocurrencies is even more advanced and the design of the private key demonstrates the importance of making your executors aware not only of the asset itself, but the details required to access it.
It is important to be aware of these difficulties so that you can plan ahead to prevent digital assets of sentimental or monetary value being lost, locked or destroyed after you die.
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