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What is a Digital Vault?

Digital vaults give you a convenient single point of reference so you can easily find and access all of your digital assets.

A cracked open safe with data leaking out

Estate planning is an essential process that will help spare your loved ones a lot of difficulty and stress once you’re gone. To create an effective estate plan and will, you must account for all your assets. With the increasing use of online accounts, cryptocurrency, online files, digital media, and other electronically secured assets, that has become a monumental task. Fortunately, digital vaults can make this task more manageable. Here's how.

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What is a Digital Vault?

Banks use vaults to securely store valuables, such as cash, documents, important records, and collectibles. A digital vault performs the same function. But instead of tangible, physical assets, digital vaults store and protect property that only exists in the digital world.

Digital vaults exist online. You can access and use them through an online platform. Security is paramount. These platforms typically use bank-level encryption technology and two-factor authentication to secure their customers' information and property. They even shield your information from their own "eyes," allowing you peace of mind when placing confidential materials in your digital vault.

Digital vaults give you a convenient single point of reference so you can easily find and access all of your digital assets. But even more important, maybe the service it offers after you pass away. The information stored in these online portals will be necessary when the time comes to settle your estate and properly manage the inheritance you’ve left behind.

Why is it Important to Organize Your Assets?

When you pass away, you want the people you leave behind to be well taken care of. You can accomplish that with a thorough estate plan. One of the keys to a well-organized estate plan is asset organization: Inventorying and cataloguing everything you own and all your debts is a vital first step in planning ahead. Your digital property should be included in this process.

The loss of a loved one is an overwhelming experience. There are so many things to take care of, and those tasks are further complicated by the effects of grief. A detailed record of your possessions, access to your online accounts, and detailed instructions from you can be of enormous help. Your digital vault is designed to fulfill these and other functions.

When you pass, an estate executor is responsible for settling your estate. If you have a will, you’ve likely already named an estate executor and have discussed your wishes with them. Their role is challenging, so make it as simple as possible for them to locate and itemize all of your assets with vital information in a digital vault.

What Should be Included in a Digital Vault?

To make the best use of your digital vault, you will want to include an inventory of all your assets, both online and offline. For digital property, create a comprehensive list of all your digital accounts with login information. Some common examples include the following:

  • Cryptocurrency records
  • Tax records
  • Online bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Social media accounts
  • Email accounts
  • Mobile phone accounts
  • Other service accounts, such as utilities, cable, and streaming services
  • Medical and healthcare online accounts
  • Online photos
  • Digital music you've purchased

Be sure to update your digital vault whenever you add or delete an online account or acquire or dispose of digital assets. You can also add personal instructions and preferences to help your loved ones make difficult decisions when you're gone. ClearEstate is equipped and prepared to help estate executors follow estate plan guidelines and instructions, including assistance with digital assets.

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