Virtual valuables? Create a plan for your digital footprint

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FILE – This Feb 23, 2019, file photo shows the inside of a computer in Jersey City, N.J. Facebook unveiled a broad plan Tuesday, June 18, to create a new digital currency. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

As technology changes we gather digital assets from items we create online or on phones, laptops and tablets.

While the value of your digital footprint will vary, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau put out tips on how to protect your digital assets.

One example of a digital asset is funds in your PayPal account.

The first step to determining the value of your digital footprint is taking an inventory and naming a beneficiary for website addresses used to access accounts, usernames, passwords, secret questions, PINs, or other important information to log into important tools or programs.

A simple tip that may easily go overlooked is typing up this information and printing a copy if your handwriting is bad. Also consider keeping the copy in a fireproof box. Make sure you print a new copy each time you update the document. If saving the document on your computer, use a password to protect it because it will include sensitive private data.

It isn’t always enough to verbally give your spouse or loved one this information so remember to contact your attorney for advice on how to include information about your digital assets in your final wishes.

Since so much of our financial lives are online, planning a proper way to share your digital assets is a smart part of your estate planning.

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