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Digital assets complicating estate planning

Estate planning in Florida has changed significantly and is likely to continue to change thanks to digital assets. Everything from cryptocurrency and online cash accounts to passwords and online contact lists should be included in many estate plans. As always the most important thing is a communication to the executor of what the assets are and to whom they will pass.

In many cases, it is the access to digital assets that causes problems. People who are making estate plans and who own digital assets should be sure to create a list of crypto keys and passwords and the like so the executor of the estate can be aware of the entire estate. The most important things to convey are the types of assets, the locations of keys and the controls being used for security. Controls might include such things as passwords, timelocks or PINs.

In the absence of sufficient legal and technical preparation, a person's digital assets can end up abandoned, with no way to access their value. Those who take care of the technical side of it, by providing instructions to access assets, but fail to address the legal side of it may be creating lawsuits for their heirs. On the other hand, overlooking the technical side might mean heirs have legal ownership of assets they can't access.

People in Florida who have questions about estate planning might want to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer with experience in estate administration & probate cases might be able to help by examining the facts of the client's situation and suggesting one or more estate planning instruments to address the client's needs. In many cases, a simple will is sufficient to cover the administration of a person's estate; in other instances, trusts or living wills or other instruments may be advisable. A lawyer might help by drafting documents to memorialize the client's wishes.

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