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Dealing with digital assets in an estate plan

| May 28, 2020 | Blog, Estate Planning |

When creating an estate plan, people may need to address what to do with digital assets ranging from email accounts to Bitcoin balances and more. Like most states, Florida has enacted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. With this in place, people can name someone to access their digital assets if they die or become incapacitated. This can be done with a trust, a power of attorney, or a will.

Digital assets can also include downloads of movies, books and music as well as any sites owned by the individual and social media accounts. Some of these platforms have their own tools in place to help people name someone to manage the account. For example, Facebook users can designate a legacy contact. Google’s tool is called an “inactive account manager.”

Dealing with digital assets on top of the other paperwork involved in estate planning can seem overwhelming, but it is mostly a matter of being organized and methodical. First, people should make a list of all assets. Next, they should document all passwords and user names and choose someone who will have this access. They should complete any forms for platforms that have a procedure in place to designate someone to take over. Finally, people should update estate planning documents to authorize individuals to access these accounts. An attorney may be helpful.

Attorneys can also help with other elements of estate planning. People may want to make a plan for someone to handle health care decisions and financial matters if they become incapacitated. A will can name who will get certain assets and can also designate a guardian for any minor children. Some people may find trusts useful as well. These can pass assets directly to beneficiaries and keep the estate plan private, unlike a will.

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