Estate Planning in the Digital Age


With kids and adults alike preoccupied with “catching them all” via the new Pokemon Go App, one may wonder what the value of a virtual menagerie of Pokemon creatures may truly be. Beyond that, with so much of our books, music, and films going digital, is there any resale or long lasting value to said virtual libraries? Gone are the days when most of our media could be passed down physically, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still to pass along your own curated digital collections with proper Estate Planning.

Bruce Willis is a public figure who reportedly took issue with this aspect of new media. According to rumors first published by the Daily Mail, Willis wished to pass down his extensive iTunes library of digital music to his daughters, but Apple’s terms and conditions simply wouldn’t allow it. Ultimately, the terms and conditions stated that one’s purchase of media via iTunes only grants the user a license to listen or view the media on specific devices, but does not allow for transferring digital movies, music, or books to other devices in perpetuity.

This doesn’t mean Willis’ hope of leaving his media ends there, since with proper Estate Planning one can ensure their heirs are able to inherit the media libraries of their loved ones. Whether this literally means passing down the actual devices housing the media libraries or other specific planning within the law and Apple’s terms and conditions, the short answer is: it can be done. As with all Estate Planning, however, the answer lies in eliminating ambiguity and making sure you and your attorney have carefully planned for every eventuality in making sure your wishes are carried out.

At Shillinger Law we will work with you on an individual basis to craft an Estate Plan that works for you and your family. Shillinger Law understands that we all have unique needs, assets, and future plans, so cookie cutter forms simply won’t work for everyone. That’s why we work with each of our clients every step of the way to ensure every Estate Plan is perfectly tailored for them. So whether you’re planning on passing along a collection of Snorlaxes and Pikachus or a carefully curated library of your favorite tunes, Shillinger Law can help you plan for your future and that of your loved ones.

  • 14 Sep, 2016
  • Löan Shillinger

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