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Pokémon Go, Digital Assets and Estate Planning

With about 20 million daily users according to Survey Monkey, Pokémon Go is a popular game. Pokémon Go has shaken up the legal world with its users trespassing on other’s property or possibly creating liability for placing Pokémon in dangerous locations. My intention of this article, however, is to bring light to how Pokémon Go relates to Estate Planning. Crazy Right? Wrong. It is very important to consider how your digital assets will be managed or transferred if you become incapacitated or deceased. A digital asset is any text or media that is formatted into a binary source and includes the right to use it. In essence, your Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram, Snapchat, Pokémon Go, etc. accounts. For further information on Digital Assets, please see my article “What is a Digital Asset?”

Now that you have a Pokémon Go account, let’s talk about the planning involved in preserving this digital assets? This is done in 3 EASY STEPS: 1. Inventory 2. A Taylor Made Estate Plan and 3. Update, Review and Amend (if necessary) your Inventory every year.

  1. Inventory. The best start is to inventory your Pokémon Go Account information, including how to access it and your wishes regarding its disposition. Williams & Williams Law, LLC has experienced Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys regarding the disposition of digital assets. Here is a link to our Digital Audit to get you started: Digital Audit PDF.
  2. Taylor Made Estate Plan. Your estate plan must include provisions and powers within your Trust, Last Will and Testament, Pour Over Will and Financial Power of Attorney that allow a Fiduciary the right to access your Pokémon Go account. Remember, at Williams and Williams Law, LLC you will receive a Taylor Made Estate Plan with a free digital audit to help preserve all digital assets.
  3. Update, Review and Amend. It is important, your account information on your digital asset inventory is up to date.

Does your Pokémon Go account have value?

YES. There are websites dedicated to selling video game accounts. With the popularity of Pokémon Go growing and expanding into different Countries, these accounts can be very valuable. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that certain Pokémon Go accounts were going for as much as $600.00.

Can my Pokémon Go account be distributed or sold to someone?

Technically, Yes. However transferring your account to another person violates the terms of service (“TOS”) that you agreed to prior to using the app. Even though it violates the TOS, that has not stopped many individuals from doing so. The Wall Street Journal reported that individuals are constantly selling their accounts. In fact, it was reported that people have made decent professions doing so.

* Always remember to contact an experienced Arizona estate planning attorney if you have any concerns with your estate plan, violating a law or term of service or if you would like advice on the proper administration of an estate. Williams & Williams Law, LLC is always here to help. We are available for free consultations. Come meet the father-son team.

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