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Florida Probate Disputes and Intangible Assets


While the majority of family fights during probate revolve around property, cars, businesses, and other tangible assets, there could be something else even more valuable in someone’s estate. These are what are known as intangible assets. Some of these assets may only hold sentimental value, but others are worth considerable money.

If someone has not included their intangible assets in their will or trust, it can create significant disputes during probate. If there is a dispute related to intangible assets, or any other aspect of probate, you need an experienced Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation attorney.

Intangible vs Tangible Assets

Tangible assets can be held. If someone inherits a tangible asset, it’s likely something they can use right away or earn some benefit from. Jewelry, cars, furniture, boats, etc., are all examples of tangible assets. Intangible assets are those you can’t hold in your hand or necessarily benefit from right now. They don’t physically exist. Although you can’t touch it like you can a boat or a piece of artwork, it doesn’t mean it’s less valuable.

Some of the most common intangible assets include copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Perhaps you won’t see any benefits from a trademark right now, but it can pay off in the future. Don’t discount the potential value of intangible assets. There are some businesses that may be worth a lot simply because of the patents and trademarks they hold. That means someone buying the business may not care about the physical structure or any materials and supplies inside, they are buying it strictly for its intellectual property holdings. 

What are Considered Digital Assets?

If you own a photography business and all your photos are stored online, those would be digital assets. More and more people work online. People own successful retail businesses without a physical location where people can shop in person. Others run popular websites and blogs. Someone may have a successful food blog that has the same value as a physical corporation. That food blogger might earn their money through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and more. They don’t sell a physical product or anything tangible.

Another popular income stream among younger people is social media. Some fashion social media influencers make a comfortable living promoting products and receiving payments for their posts. While it’s quite possible that Instagram won’t be around in 20 years, it can be a valuable digital asset today. If that person suddenly passes away, who gets control of their accounts and passwords?

Other digital assets include everything like phone apps, downloaded music, messaging applications, and more. Cryptocurrency also falls under digital assets. If someone started investing in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency from the start, their digital assets could exceed the value of the estate’s tangible ones.

Contact a Pompano Beach Trust and Estate Litigation Attorney

Disputes between possible heirs are not uncommon in a Florida probate. However, don’t let them drag on, and don’t assume you can handle them on your own. If you need assistance with a probate dispute involving intangible assets, please contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.


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