This year did you include in your New Year’s resolutions looking into how to protect your digital assets? With protecting digital assets a hot topic and data security in the headlines, digital privacy is on the mind of many Floridians this month. This year is a perfect time to consider working to ensure that our digital assets are secure now and in the future, including after we pass on.
As you work with your estate planning attorney to create or update your Florida estate plan did you know that your digital assets may be included? They can be and by including your digital assets into your estate plan you can actually secure them for the future. We want to share with you the following guidelines to help you understand how to include your digital assets in your estate plan and keep them secure.
1. Most of our digital assets are password protected therefore a critical first step in addressing the security of your assets is protecting and preserving your passwords.
2. It is tough to keep track of all of the different passwords you use to access different accounts on a frequent basis. You may be using a place on your computer or cell phone to remember and maintain your passwords. However, this is not the most secure practice.
3. When choosing passwords it is important to choose strong passwords not easily guessed, and to change them frequently, even if only once a year. It is also important to frequently check in to ensure your passwords have not been compromised. If they have, update them immediately!
4. You could keep track of your passwords by making a written list and keeping it in a locked desk drawer or safe deposit box. However, it should be somewhere you can access frequently, so that you may make updates to the list if you need to.
5. When creating or updating your estate plan your digital assets can be included. Your assets may be financial or sentimental. Examples of financial digital assets are PayPal, Venmo, or bitcoin accounts. A collection of photographs or videos of your children and grandchildren are examples of sentimental assets.
6. Your digital assets need someone to be able to access them after you pass away. Perhaps you could consider choosing a “password person” who you trust with your password information. You could also keep them informed of where you keep your password list so they can access it when needed. As a part of the estate plan you create or update you may also detail who should have access to your digital assets or leave your personal representative instructions about your passwords.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At the Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.