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The Importance of Including Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan

Today, most of us handle our banking and bill payments online. Not only is it more convenient and better for the environment, companies actually encourage customers to use online account management tools and paperless billing. It’s a trend that is likely to become engrained in our society over time; in other words, it’s not going away.

So what happens to all these accounts you have set up online if you become incapacitated or when you die? Without a paper trail to follow, your executor and family members will likely be unable to manage your financial affairs or access your email or social media accounts.

Making a plan for what happens to your digital assets should be part of your estate plan. Without it, your family will have a difficult time accessing critical information and it may take significantly more time to settle your estate -- not to mention the additional stress on loved ones.

In 2016, Florida instituted the Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which provides Florida residents with the ability to plan for the management of their digital assets upon incapacitation or death. The Act provides for naming a fiduciary or designated recipient to act on your behalf to access your accounts, profiles and digital assets.

Under the Act, a digital asset is defined as “an electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest. The term does not include an underlying asset or liability unless the asset or liability is itself an electronic record.”

Before you meet with your estate planning attorney to include digital assets in your estate plan, you should:

  • Create an inventory of all your online accounts with login IDs and passwords.
  • Store your digital assets inventory in an online repository such as Dropbox.
  • Have a clear idea of who you want to have access to these accounts considering the private and confidential nature of the information.

The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC, focuses on estate planning and asset protection for Florida residents. If you need assistance with planning for your family’s future, contact our Fort Myers estate planning law firm for your free consultation.

Categories: Estate Planning
dorcey law firm
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169
Website: http://www.dorceylaw.com
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