Tag: digital assets

Is Protecting Your Digital Assets a Key New Year’s Resolution?

When you made your New Year’s resolutions did you include understanding how to protect your digital assets? Digital assets are a hot topic and data security is in the headlines.  In addition, digital privacy is on the mind of many Floridians making this month a perfect time to be sure that our digital assets are secure now and in the future, including after we pass on. 

As you create or update your Florida estate plan, did you know that digital assets can be included in your plan? One aspect of securing your digital assets in the future can be accomplished while creating or updating your estate plan. We would like to share some  guidelines that may assist you in understanding how to include digital assets in your estate plan while keeping them secure in the meantime.

A critical first step in addressing the security of your digital assets is to preserve and protect your passwords. Most of us protect our digital assets with passwords. That being said, it is often tough to keep track of all of the different passwords you use to access different accounts on a frequent basis.  In fact, you may have resorted to using a memory or list feature on your computer or on your cell phone to keep track of all your passwords. Saving to some type of device is, unfortunately, not the most secure of practices.  Remember, it is important to choose strong passwords that cannot easily be guessed, and to change them frequently, even if only once a year. Always check frequently to be sure that your passwords have not been compromised. Update them immediately if they have!  We suggest that you keep track of your passwords by making a written list and keeping it in a locked desk drawer or safe deposit box. Wherever you keep this list it should be somewhere you can access frequently, so that you can make updates to the list.

What assets can become part of your estate plan?  Financial digital assets, like a digital Paypal, Venmo, or bitcoin account. Also, sentimental digital assets, like a collection of photographs or videos of your children and grandchildren. With any and all assets like these, someone needs to be able to access these assets after you pass away.  How do you accomplish this?  You may want to consider picking a “password person” who can be trusted with this information and keep him or her informed of where you keep your password list so it can be accessed if and when the time comes. As stated previously, when you create or update your estate plan you may also wish to detail who should have access to your digital assets or leave your personal representative instructions with respect to your passwords. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

The importance of adding your digital assets to your estate plan

Every 60 seconds there are millions of Facebook posts, tweets, and Google searches. Additionally, more than three million emails are sent out every second. Our lives are becoming more and more virtual. If you have an email address, a Facebook account, or bank online, then you have an online presence and valuable digital assets. Many aspects of our lives are digital and controlling these assets in the event of our incapacity or death raises new issues never experienced before. “If you become incapacitated, “grow seriously ill or pass away, “Chapter 740 of the Florida Statutes outlines “how your agents can access your digital records, “and grants custodians authorization to release such assets. “Without proper planning, your loved ones “may have trouble tracking down and accessing “your online accounts that may have sentimental, “practical, or monetary value,” says Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA.

You should consider updating your estate planning documents and seek to broaden the powers to your fiduciaries and appoint a separate, tech-friendly person to manage your digital assets in the event of your incapacity or death. You may also want to consider using tools offered by Google, Facebook, and others, to designate a representative for your digital assets on these sites. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service, but large enough to handle all of your estate and planning needs.