Florida Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

New Digital Assets Law

Trustees, personal representatives and guardians seeking access to a decedent’s or disabled person’s digital assets are often rebuffed by internet providers citing privacy concerns. Digital assets are anything that exists online: documents stored in the cloud, email addresses, bank and brokerage accounts and online statements, text messages, photos, etc.

Now, the Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act provides a solution. The law became effective July 1, 2016. The law allows your authorized personal representative, trustee, agent under your power of attorney or your guardian to access your electronic files if you become disabled or pass away, and holds these individuals to the same standards they must uphold when handling traditional, non-digital assets.

The law authorizes companies to turn over “data, text, images, videos, sounds, codes, computer programs, software, databases” and other electronic data to your fiduciary. You may wish to specify the specific type of electronic data you want released. For example, you may want your personal representative under your will to access and manage your online bank accounts for the purpose of administering your estate, but you might not want the individual to see your email messages.

You can read the text of the legislation here.