Florida Estate Planning & Digital Assets

October 7, 2006

A new problem has begun to surface in Florida Estate Planning. What happens if you use email, or other online services? Will your loved ones be able to act upon your behalf if you are incapacitated or unable to act on your own?

Jacksonville, Duval, St. Johns, Clay, PVB, Ponte Vedra, North FloridaWith the rising use of the internet, it doesnt matter if you are in Jacksonville Florida or another city.How can you give your heirs access to information that may be stored online but secured by a password, but without the risk of unauthorized access.

If you put your passwords in your Florida will, they could change, or people who should not have access to them might gain access. Likewise biometrics (fingerprint or retinal scans) could also pose problems if there is not a password in addition to the biometrics.

The best solution seems to deal with a password vault where there is a master password. This way if your passwords change, the person who has access to the master password would always have the current password.

The master password could be on a document that is referenced within the will or other estate planning documents.

With the increase in electronic communications it's important to choose a Florida Estate Planning Attorney who is familiar with the technology and how to deal with these recent problems in estate planning.

Another solution is to create a Digital Asset Revocable Trust. This trust can be the owner of all of your digital assets or the assets you wish others to have access to upon a disabling event or your death. Since most of these digital assets are licenses, the trust will survive your death and others will be able to access the information. You still need to plan on how to transfer the information or knowledge to the successor trustee or beneficiary - this is Digital Asset Protection.