How to incorporate digital assets into an estate plan

| Dec 8, 2020 | Estate Planning

There is a good chance that you have an online bank account, a social media profile or other digital assets. Florida law generally allows you to include these assets in a will or other estate plan documents. Let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure that digital property won’t be lost or forgotten about after your death.

What should happen to online accounts?

It may be possible to delete or memorialize a social media account after its owner dies. Memorializing an account means that friends and family can view content without making any changes to it.

It’s important to note that you typically retain copyright to any images or videos that you post online for up to 70 years after your death. Therefore, your estate may be able to have content taken offline even if your estate plan doesn’t leave any instructions to do so.

Designate a digital estate representative

A digital estate representative is someone who can help you inventory and oversee assets such as passwords to social media and bank accounts. He or she might also ensure that bank and other financial accounts are deactivated or transferred to beneficiaries in a timely manner. Finally, this individual is typically granted access to the computer, smartphone or other devices used to manage your online accounts.

If you need help managing your digital property, it may be a good idea to speak with an estate planning attorney who might be able to ensure that videos, pictures or other online content is deleted or preserved in accordance with your wishes. Legal counsel may also take steps to ensure that any sensitive information that is stored on a phone, computer or other device is destroyed or kept in a secure location.