When Florida residents think about making an estate plan, they often first address tangible assets like real estate, vehicles or even bank accounts and investment funds. However, some of the most important items that people own today are digital assets. These can include e-mail accounts, social media profiles, subscription services or even cryptocurrency wallets. Access to these digital accounts can be critically important for anyone seeking to manage a loved one’s affairs if they are incapacitated or have passed away. Nevertheless, many estate owners fail to make a plan to cover how their digital assets ill be handled.
A growing number of states are introducing standard procedures for dealing with digital files after death, especially as many companies have disparate procedures and may hesitate to allow even the executor of an estate to access an account. However, there are also some tips that an estate owner can keep in mind to develop a clear plan for how their online accounts will be handled. For staters, it’s important to make an inventory of the digital items available, including hardware and accounts online.
In addition, the estate owner should think of a trustworthy person who can handle their digital assets. In many cases, this will be the same person assigned to handle their financial affairs. Whoever is chosen, it’s important that they have some technical knowledge. While no one wants to make passwords available, keeping one secure document with this information can be key later on.
Making an estate plan is an ongoing process, especially because keeping wills, trusts and other documents updated is so critical. An estate planning lawyer can help a client maintain an effective and thorough plan.