Can You Pass On Your Digital Assets

As we previously discussed, you can legally pass on most of your digital assets due to the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. This law allows you to inherit any digital assets that are fully owned and transferable, so long as they are designated in an official estate plan. Before you write your last will and testament, you should conduct thorough research on if you have the right to pass the account to another individual.

Transferable assets are assets that you own and can be passed down through your will. This often includes anything of financial or sentimental value. Some important accounts to include in your will are:

  • Funds in a PayPal account or any financial application

  • Funds owed to you by an online store like, Amazon or Etsy

  • Cryptocurrency

  • Digital music (depending on the policy of the issuing company)

  • Photos that you own

  • Frequent flyer miles (depending on the policy of the issuing company)

Most of your digital assets won't pass through your will because you do not have the right to transfer them. Even if the asset has a real value to you or your family, if you do not own them or have the right to transfer them at death, you cannot pass them through your will. There are certain accounts that you have licensed to use the account and they cannot be transferred to another individual and are often stated in the terms and conditions you agreed to during the creation of the account. Here are the most common non-transferrable accounts:

  • Email and social media accounts

  • Non-transferable domains that you've licensed

  • Subscription accounts like Netflix or Spotify

  • Apps on your phone or tablet (and the data they contain)

Passing on your login information to your executor is important to ensure your estate can easily and smoothly be wrapped up after you pass. Your executor often needs access to the following accounts for your estate:

  • Accounts for paying bills

  • Accounts to distribute property

  • Accounts that store important digital files

However, when it comes to accounts that are not owned by you, if you don’t provide login information for your executor, it is almost impossible for executors to obtain this information. This is because in nearly all states, executors have no legal authority to access a deceased person's digital assets – even if you use your will to give them explicit authority over them. In the few states where executors do have some legal authority, executors will likely encounter strong resistance from the companies that manage the accounts and files. Leaving clear instructions with your login information will ensure your estate can be wrapped up and accessed after you pass on.