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Can you put digital collections in your will?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2022 | Estate Planning

More and more often, people have digital forms of media. They may have invested a significant amount of money in a collection, and it may also have sentimental value to the heirs from times spent enjoying this media together.

For instance, your grandparents may have collected VHS tapes, spending thousands of dollars to have a large movie collection. You may have a collection that’s just as big as theirs was, but you’ve purchased all those movies digitally, so you don’t own the physical copies.

However, you still invested your money in those assets and you’d like to pass them on to your children. You fondly remember getting that VHS collection from your own parents. Can you put your collection in your will?

Check the terms of the purchase

You may be able to if you actually own the media itself. Maybe you have your digital purchases on a server and you can give that to your children. This is just another storage device, like a DVD or a VHS.

However, many people buy movies or video games through online purchases. Much of the time, the agreement really says that you don’t own the media at all. What you’re buying is actually just a license to watch it whenever you want. But the company that you bought the license from still owns the media, and you’re not allowed to pass your license on to someone else. This means you can’t put your collection in the will.

Estate planning will likely only get more complicated in the digital age, so you can see why it’s so important to know what options you have.