Florida Enacts Law Governing Access to Digital Assets

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Source Gunster Private Wealth Services. Read Original Article

After a good deal of debate and undoubtedly no shortage of bargaining with powerful online service providers, Florida finally enacted law covering access to digital assets by others – the Florida Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. This Act allows an individual to grant access to his or her “Digital Assets” upon death or incapacity. Digital Assets are electronic records in which someone has a personal interest or right and include digital 4 Tallahassee 215 South Monroe Street Suite 601 Tallahassee, FL 32301-1804 Phone Number: (850) 521-1980 Tampa 401 East Jackson Street Suite 2500 Tampa, FL 33602 Phone Number: (813) 228-9080 The Florida Keys 35 Ocean Reef Drive Suite 145 Key Largo, FL 33037 Phone Number: (305) 367-2324 Vero Beach 4733 N. Highway A1A Pelican Plaza, Suite 301 Vero Beach, FL 32963 Phone Number: (800) 451-3761 West Palm Beach 777 South Flagler Drive Suite 500 East West Palm Beach, FL 33401-6194 Phone Number: (800) 749-1980 Winter Park 280 West Canton Avenue Suite 330 Winter Park, FL 32789 Phone Number: (407) 647-7645 photographs, files stored in the cloud, electronic bank statements, social media or social network accounts, and, importantly, electronic communications and records such as emails. You can now add provisions to your Last Will and Testament, Revocable Trust Agreement and Durable Power of Attorney permitting your fiduciaries to access, handle, distribute, delete, dispose of and otherwise exercise control over your Digital Assets. This authority may specifically authorize your fiduciaries to have the right to receive and access the “catalog” (information that identifies each person with which a user has had an electronic communication, the time and date of the communication, and the electronic address of the person), and/or the “content” (information concerning the substance or meaning of the communication which has been sent or received by a user) of electronic communications with respect to any Digital Assets. If your estate plan does not include language authorizing access to Digital Assets, your fiduciaries will not have any such access unless you make use of an “online tool” offered by certain service providers to grant such access. In keeping with federal privacy laws, the Act prevents service providers that store electronic communications from releasing such communications to fiduciaries unless the user has affirmatively consented to the disclosure.