For hundreds of years, most information existed in tangible form, usually in paper documents. However the advent of digital technology, has transformed the way people acquire and store information and transact business. As people continue to embrace digital technology, many tangible documents have been replaced by digital files. This shift towards digital media has created challenges for fiduciaries tasked with corralling digital assets for individuals who have either lost capacity or died.
In Florida, when an individual dies or is declared incapacitated, a fiduciary is required to use their legal authority to inventory the person’s assets, pay the persons creditors and expenses, and preserve the assets while they are incapacitated or transfer the assets to the proper beneficiaries. Traditionally, an individual’s personal information could be located by searching their paper records, where one could find information regarding bank accounts and bills to be paid. However, the digitalization of personal information has made locating these records more complicated. Fiduciaries must identify and locate these digital assets, determine who has control over access to the assets, and figure out how to access those assets. Continue reading