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Key Ways to Include Digital Assets in Your Florida Estate Plan


In this digital age, are you aware of the increased complexity of Florida estate planning due to the growing presence of digital assets that need to be included in this planning? What are these digital assets? They are any form of content or information that exists in a digital format and holds value to individuals or businesses. These assets encompass a wide range of items, including online accounts, social media profiles, cryptocurrencies, digital photos and videos, intellectual property, and more.

In addition, it is important to know that the value of digital assets can be both financial and sentimental. By working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney you can include provisions for the management, distribution, or preservation of these assets in your Florida estate plan to ensure that your digital legacy is properly created. Because of their unique nature, digital assets may require more strategic planning which your experienced Florida estate planning attorney will be able to assist you with. 

As digital assets continue to become both more complex and more prevalent, we want to share some key ways to include your digital assets in your Florida estate plan that we often share with our clients. 

  1. Detailed Inventory. You need to begin by creating a detailed inventory of all your digital assets. Included in this inventory should be a listing of the platforms, accounts, and any associated login credentials. You must keep this inventory updated and stored securely.
  2. Terms of Service.  You need to review the terms of service  for each asset. Be mindful that this is a constantly evolving area and can be subject to change at any time, typically at the sole discretion of the company that created the digital asset. You need to know the terms of service and user agreements of each of the platforms where your digital assets reside. Some platforms have specific provisions regarding the transfer or management of accounts upon the death or incapacity of the user, although this is not the norm.
  3. Authority. You need to think about and plan to give authority to your agent, your personal representative, and your trustee. Be sure that each of these three individuals, or one individual depending on the nature of your Florida estate plan, has the specific written authority to manage and dispose of your digital assets. 
  4. Passwords. Your Florida estate plan should have a central password manager for digital assets. You could consider using password manager applications to securely store and manage your login credentials. With the guidance of your Florida estate planning attorney you may want to go a step further and provide your future decision maker with the necessary access credentials to this central password manager account. While this will include usernames and passwords, it may also include two-factor authentication methods.
  5. Digital Asset Distribution. You need to specify the distribution of your digital assets. Again, work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to clearly outline your wishes for the distribution or disposal of specific digital assets in your Florida estate plan. This can include transferring ownership, deleting accounts, or preserving certain assets for sentimental or historical purposes.
  6. Review, Update and Manage. You need to regularly review, update, and manage your digital accounts. Digital assets and online platforms grow and change rapidly as opposed to the ownership and access to more traditional assets such as real property. Be sure to regularly review and update your Florida estate plan to reflect any changes in your digital asset inventory, platforms, or preferences. 

By incorporating these evolving Florida estate planning tips, you can better manage and protect your digital assets, ensuring that your digital legacy is handled according to your wishes. Be aware that by working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney in this area you can remain up-to-date with changing laws and technologies that could impact your goals for your digital assets.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. When your family or financial health is on the line, trust attorney Paul Riffel to help you protect your interests and achieve your goals. Attorney Paul Riffel has been practicing law in Florida for over 41 years, focusing in the areas of Tampa estate planning and  family law. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.

Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

Paul Riffel Law is located in Tampa FL and serves clients in and around Brandon, Tampa, Valrico, Odessa, Thonotosassa, Gibsonton, Sydney, Dover, Land O Lakes, Oldsmar, Apollo Beach, Lithia, Safety Harbor, Trilby, Plant City, Durant, Holiday, Hillsborough County and Pasco County.

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