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Passing On a Digital Legacy – Who Gets Your Ebooks and MP3 Files?

The world is becoming more and more digital.  We listen to music not from CDs, but from MP3 players.  We don’t read physical books, instead pulling out our Kindle or Nook to read – carrying a whole library in one device.  We purchase movies to download, write our journals online, social network online, and essentially create an entire digital legacy.

However, what happens when you die?  Physical items, such as shelves of books and drawers of DVDs are easy to pass on to your loved ones.  How do you pass on your ebooks, MP3s and downloaded films?  This is an area to which estate planning is only starting to venture.  The laws surrounding electronic assets are much different from those regarding physical ones.  When you purchase a book, CD or DVD, you have the rights to that item.  You can do with it as you wish and give it away as you choose.  However, when you purchase an electronic version, you do not receive the same rights or ownership to the item.  You essentially receive the rights only to use such items, many of which are determined as non-transferable.

An avid reader could have thousands of dollars in electronic books by the time they die.  What happens to those books?  A physical library would be passed on to loved ones.  Shouldn’t the electric versions be as well?

While there is currently no working method for passing on these types of assets, it is something that estate planning is moving towards.  As more and more people increase their digital assets, the court systems will have to discover a way where these assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries.  Only time will tell what the laws will dictate.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 888.804.5340.

Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.


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