Are you aware that in this digital age estate planning has become more complex due to the increasing presence of digital assets that need to be planned for? What exactly are digital assets? Digital assets refer to any form of content or information that exists in a digital format and holds value to individuals or businesses. Now these assets can encompass a wide range of items, including online accounts, social media profiles, cryptocurrencies, digital photos and videos, intellectual property, and more.

Also, it is important to realize that the value of digital assets can be both financial and sentimental. By working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney you can include provisions for the management, distribution, or preservation of your digital assets in your estate plan to ensure that your digital legacy is properly created. Because of the unique nature of digital assets, they may require more strategic planning which your experienced Florida estate planning attorney may assist you with.

As digital assets continue to become both more complex and more prevalent, here are some estate planning tips to review for managing digital assets that we share with many of our clients.

1. A good place to begin is with a detailed inventory. Begin by creating an inventory of all your digital assets. This includes listing the platforms, accounts, and any associated login credentials. Keep this inventory updated and stored securely.

2. A review of the terms of service should be completed for each asset. Know that this is a constantly evolving area and can be subject to change at any time, typically at the sole discretion of the company that created the digital asset. Be familiar with the terms of service and user agreements of the platforms where your digital assets reside. Some platforms have specific provisions regarding the transfer or management of accounts upon the user’s death or incapacity, although this is not the norm.

3. Be sure to grant authority to your agent, your personal representative, and your trustee. You want to be sure each of these three individuals, or one individual depending on the nature of your Florida estate plan, has the specific written authority to manage and dispose of your digital assets.

4. A central password manager for digital assets needs to be created and included in your estate planning. Consider using password manager applications to securely store and manage your login credentials. Under the guidance of your Florida estate planning attorney you may want to go a step further and provide your future decision maker with the necessary access credentials to this central password manager account. While this will include usernames and passwords, it may also include two-factor authentication methods.

5. Be sure to specify digital asset distribution. Work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to clearly outline your wishes for the distribution or disposal of specific digital assets in your Florida estate plan. This can include transferring ownership, deleting accounts, or preserving certain assets for sentimental or historical purposes.

6. Be sure to regularly review, update, and manage these accounts. Be mindful that digital assets and online platforms evolve rapidly as opposed to the ownership and access to more traditional assets such as real property. Regularly review and update your Florida estate plan to reflect any changes in your digital asset inventory, platforms, or preferences.

By incorporating these Florida estate planning tips for managing digital assets, you can better manage and protect your digital assets ensuring that your digital legacy is handled according to your wishes. Remember, working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney in this area is critical to remain up-to-date with changing laws and technologies that could impact your goals for your digital assets.

We know you may have questions about this, and many other, estate planning issues. 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.