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Include digital assets when estate planning

| Feb 23, 2018 | probate |

The world is not the same as it was 50 years ago. It is not even the same as it was five years ago. Generally speaking, our lives have become digitized on a massive scale. Money can come and go without one seeing a physical bank note, and our lives are documented on social media. For many, this digitization has made life easier. But, in some respects, the constantly evolving world around us can lead to new challenges, especially when it comes to estate planning.

A lot of Floridians who have an established estate plan have failed to take into account their digital assets. When this happens and these individuals pass away, their beneficiaries may be unable to access these assets, which can include social media and professional media accounts, online investment accounts and even cryptocurrency. This means that assets that carry significant financial and sentimental value can be lost. Although this is a sad and scary reality, it is preventable.

To avoid these consequences, estate planners need to take certain steps. First, they should document their digital assets in a physical document that can be easily accessible. This document should provide usernames, passwords, and even how one wishes for these accounts to be handled. Second, wills should be created, or modified, to include a digital executor. This will ensure that digital assets are protected and handled in accordance with one’s wishes. Last, those who are invested in cryptocurrencies need to make sure that it is easily accessible, as a lack of careful explanation can lead to an inability to access what could be a significant amount of value.

Creating an initial estate plan can seem overwhelming. Keeping on top of it to ensure that it meshes with the times in which we live can be even more challenging. It is for this reason that many choose to turn to a knowledgeable legal professional for assistance.