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Digital Assets and Electronic Communications

October 28th, 2016

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Recently, the Florida legislature has addressed the issue of fiduciaries’ ability to access digital data, which can include things such as emails and social media postings.  On July 1, 2016, the Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act went into effect and it applies to estate planning documents regardless of when they were signed.  This act is found in Chapter 740 of the Florida Statutes. Individuals, estates, trusts, and businesses can direct who may have access to their digital assets and electronic communications and to what extent those communications may be available to a fiduciary.  Those persons can express their wishes in a Durable Power of Attorney, Trust or Will.

The Act distinguishes the ability to obtain a “catalog” which means basic information such as who was sending electronic communications and at what date and time those communications occurred from the ability to obtain “content” such as the contents or words in an email.  Depending upon your circumstances, you may wish to provide more ability for your fiduciaries to access your digital accounts and electronic communications; alternatively, you may wish to further limit the access your fiduciary has to such accounts and communications.  Please consider contacting a qualified Florida attorney or lawyer to assist you.

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