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February 6, 2023

What are digital assets?

We tend to be more familiar with the concept of physical or tangible assets, like our house, car or banking accounts. Yet, we likely all own digital assets as well.  Examples of digital assets include smart phones, computers, digital art, music, videos, photographs, virtual currency, and more. Just like our physical assets, digital assets can be bought, sold, and traded.  So, what happens to them when someone dies?

How are Digital Assets Handled in Florida Probate?

In Florida, the probate process for digital assets is similar to that for physical assets. The personal representative of the estate is responsible for identifying and collecting the deceased person’s digital assets, and distributing them according to the terms of the will or Florida law (if they did not have a will). This may include online accounts, such as email and social media accounts, as well as digital currency and other assets stored on a computer or other device.

How is my Apple Account Accessed after Death?

Apple accounts are treated the same way as other digital accounts.  In order to access an Apple account, you should begin by contacting an experienced probate attorney.  The Apple team will request proof of executorship in order to communicate with you on behalf of the deceased individual.  In order to have the required proof of executorship (known as letters of administration and an order appointing you as the personal representative of the estate) a probate action must be filed in the court.  Having a reliable attorney by your side will make this process much smoother. Once you have the letters of administration and an order appointing you as the personal representative of the estate, you must then gather other important documents, such as a certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate, proof of your relationship to the decedent and proof of your own identity. With all important documents in hand, you will be prepared to contact the Apple team and communicate on behalf of the estate. You may be able to request a data download in some cases, or to deactivate the account entirely. A court order to proceed with this will likely be necessary but your probate lawyer can assist with having such an order issued.

Coral Springs Probate Lawyer | Tampa Probate Lawyer

We have helped hundreds of families across the state of Florida with the probate process. Our goal is to make this process as easy and tpainfree as possible. If you have lost someone you care about, please give us a call to see if we are able to assist with your case.

(954) 999-9683 | The Legacy Law firm