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Managing an online influencer’s estate

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2024 | Estate Planning

Influencers have become a significant part of people’s daily lives, shaping trends and opinions and even driving commerce through their online presence.

But what happens to this digital footprint when an influencer passes away? Managing an influencer’s estate presents unique challenges that go beyond the scope of traditional Indiana estate planning and administration.

Understanding the value of digital assets

Digital assets include social media accounts, blogs and any online content that may generate revenue. The value of these assets can be substantial, often continuing to earn long after the influencer’s death.

Intellectual property considerations

Influencers often create unique content, branding and trademarks that constitute intellectual property. IP rights can be complex to navigate, especially when transferring ownership or licensing rights as part of an estate. Ensuring these assets continue to benefit the influencer’s heirs without violating copyright or trademark laws is an important task for anyone managing these estates.

The role of online personas

An influencer’s online persona is a significant asset. Deciding whether to maintain, archive or delete an online presence can affect the estate’s value and the influencer’s legacy. Those in charge must consider the wishes of the influencer, the expectations of followers and the impact on the estate’s value when making these decisions.

Privacy and access issues

Gaining access to digital accounts can be a hurdle due to privacy laws and platform policies. Those managing the estate need the legal authority to access, modify or delete online content, which may require specific planning and foresight.

Managing ongoing revenue

Many influencers have revenue streams that continue to generate income after their death, such as sponsored content deals. Managing these ongoing revenues in a way that benefits heirs while respecting the influencer’s legacy involves navigating contracts, platform policies and the changing landscape of social media.

As the digital world evolves, so too will the strategies for managing these modern estates in Indiana.