Why should we care about fiduciary access to digital assets?

April 7, 2017 Nick Esterbauer Estate & Trust, General Interest, Power of Attorney, Wills Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

My other two blog posts this week have focused on the utility of model legislation that has been introduced in Canada and the United States to address the issue of fiduciary access to digital assets, and some of the primary differences between the uniform acts of these two jurisdictions.

Today, I take the opportunity to highlight the prevalence of digital assets through the use of some interesting (and somewhat surprising) statistics:

  • 99% of North Americans use at least one personal online tool;
  • A 2013 study by McAfee suggests that Canadians value their digital assets at an average of more than $32,000.00.  Since 2013, the prevalence of digital assets has increased significantly;
  • Worldwide, Bitcoins are valued at almost $22 billion, with over $2 million in Bitcoins exchanged every day;
  • As many of our readers already know, many Canadians (estimated to be more than 60%) do not have a Last Will and Testament.  Of those who do have a Will, 57% of North Americans aged 45 and older have not included provisions that address access to digital assets as part of their formal estate plan.  Such provisions may be required in order for an estate trustee to gain access to digital assets, absent the enactment of legislation permitting same or a court order granting access.

Our blog has previously covered some of the common issues resulting from the inattention to digital estate planning, which can arise regardless of the financial value of the assets in dispute.

Have a great weekend,

Nick Esterbauer

 

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