Skip to Content
Advisor Insights

Helping Clients Manage Their Digital Estate Plans

Advisors can play the "quarterback" role in helping clients manage and implement their digital estate plans once a legal estate plan is in place.

When most of us think of estate planning, likely to come to mind are wills, trusts, and other legal documents designed to ensure that assets are properly disposed of. Many advisors are used to coordinating with a client's estate-planning attorney and ensuring that financial account beneficiaries and titles are up to date. But what about a client's digital assets, such as files, usernames and passwords, social media accounts, and websites?

Accessing and managing an account owner's digital assets once he or she passes away or is incapacitated poses some unique challenges. In an increasingly digital age, clients are more likely than not to have a substantial digital "balance sheet," with some assets potentially carrying actual monetary value (such as cryptocurrency). An abundance of digital assets makes things naturally more challenging for heirs, in that they need to know which online accounts exist in the first place--and then how to access them. Even if an inventory of usernames and passwords has been carefully organized in advance, this alone isn't sufficient to grant someone the legal authority to access or manage someone else's online account (even if deceased).

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.