Sharon Hartung, Your Digital Undertaker®, reveals how the Estate Industry is about to face its “dotcom” moment, outlining how estate advisors, business owners, service providers, and the broader estate and technology industries can prepare
TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#STEP–Sharon Hartung, Your Digital Undertaker®, recognized as one of the leading and original voices in digital estate planning globally, announces the launch of her latest book, Digital Executor®: Unraveling the New Path for Estate Planning.
In her book, Sharon discusses how today’s executor is a digital executor and that the estate planning industry must understand and prepare for the reality that our increasingly digital lives require a fundamental shift in how advisors manage estate planning for their clients.
Digital assets, such as digitized money, memories and records are now the gateway to our client’s entire lives and legacy. They include our loyalty points, reward points, community platforms, cloud accounts, video channels, online hobby accounts, cryptocurrencies, cryptoassets, digital collectibles, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and entertainment accounts. As an industry, this will be the first generation of planners to deal with this aspect of client wishes and beneficiaries.
Digital Executor®: Unraveling the New Path for Estate Planning explores how the proliferation of these digital assets is making technology the new player at the estate planning table. Written for estate advisors, business owners, service providers, and the broader estate and technology industries, Sharon helps estate planners navigate this new reality, manage client expectations regarding their digital estates, and the implications of the changing role of the fiduciary/executor.
“Estate planners must realize that everything in the estate industry is a candidate for digitization,” says Sharon. “Every organization had to develop Y2K and dot-com plans to navigate the challenges and opportunities of these technology-driven events. So too, will the industry need to develop digital transformation plans to address the monumental changes unfolding in the death care and estate industries.”
The recent announcement by Apple at #WWDC21 about their new Digital Legacy Program on the heels of Facebook’s Legacy Contact and Google’s Inactive Account Manager, sets the pace on new consumer and marketplace expectations for digital estate planning. “We will need the same spectrum of estate planning choices for digital assets as we have for physical assets, such as insurance, beneficiary designations, joint ownership, and preplanning and transfer options,” she adds.
Digital Executor®: Unraveling the New Path for Estate Planning examines vital topics, including:
- The context of where technology fits in a client’s estate, an advisor’s profession, and organizational practices.
- The fundamental reasons why digital assets and estate planning tools are critical for advisors to understand to better manage their client’s estate.
- A deep dive into various digital assets within a client’s portfolio, introducing an advisor to the technical management and user aspects of the topic.
- A clear understanding of where digital assets sit in the broader digitization underway in the estate industry (including future legislation of electronic wills), and the impact this transformation is likely to have on individual businesses serving clients and their estate fiduciary and advisors. Although the book’s target audience is estate advisors, the perspective is client user focused, guiding the advisor on a digital journey through the changing digital circumstances of the will-maker (testator) and the role of the fiduciary.
Sharon’s first book, Your Digital Undertaker: Exploring Death in the Digital Age in Canada, explored digital assets in the context of an individual’s or client’s estate planning life cycle.
About Sharon Hartung, Your Digital Undertaker®:
Sharon Hartung, Captain (Ret’d), PEng, MSc, BEng, PMP®, CD, TEP, rmc, is the founder of Your Digital Undertaker®, which provides Digital Executor® consulting for advisors and clients on the tech management aspects of digital assets in estate planning. With an extensive track record in IT management, project management, and consulting, she brings a multi-disciplinary approach to better understanding the role of managing digital assets in estate planning and estate administration.
Sharon is a Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) member, has served as a committee member on both the STEP Digital Assets Special Interest Group and the STEP Global Thought Leadership Team: Digital Assets. Her first book, Your Digital Undertaker: Exploring Death in the Digital Age in Canada, was published in 2019. To learn more, please visit: https://yourdigitalundertaker.com