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ULC Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Committee Work Coming to Close

Over the last two years the Uniform Law Commission’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets committee has worked with companies, private organizations and industry leaders to craft a model act to incorporate digital assets into probate and trust codes. The stated goal of the committee is to “vest fiduciaries with at least the authority to manage and […]

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How to Prepare for Your Digital Afterlife

Just what does happen to your digital life once you’re gone? As we’ve said here many times before, there’s no easy or simple answer to that question. But there is something you can do: plan ahead.

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Infographic: A Guide to Digital Estate Planning

Our friends over at AfterSteps prepared this interesting infographic to show the various policies and procedures for all sorts of online accounts from email and social networking to entertainment and online backup accounts. View the original post at AfterSteps.

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PBS NewsHour: Law Lags in Defining Posthumous Protocol for Online Accounts

What happens to your email, Facebook page and other digital property when you die? Naomi Cahn of the George Washington University School of Law, and our own Evan Carroll, co-author of “Your Digital Afterlife,” talk to Jeffrey Brown of PBS NewsHour about the legal and ethical quandaries of dealing with a loved one’s digital assets […]

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Virginia Passes Digital Assets Law

Adding to the list of states that have passed laws pertaining to digital estates, the Virginia Legislature passed HB 1752 today affording parents of deceased minors access to their social media accounts. The bill’s description reads: Powers of personal representatives; digital accounts. Provides that the personal representative of a deceased minor has the power to assume the […]

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Welcome to Life

Copyright infringement in the digital afterlife. Hilarious.

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What happens to your Facebook account when you die?

It’s a simple question without a simple answer, unless you’re willing to accept “it depends” as a simple answer. The result depends upon what you friends and family decide to request and perhaps even what instructions you leave behind. Let’s go through Facebook’s policy and explore all of the options: Memorialize the profile Facebook recognizes the […]

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Digital Assets: A Clearer Definition

Recently we reviewed draft legislation for incorporating digital assets into estates law in North Carolina. In doing so, we questioned our working definition of digital assets, which created ambiguity between digital assets (the files) and digital accounts (access rights to files). The account/asset distinction is important, as it relates to requirements placed on service providers.

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A Working Definition of Digital Assets.

The phrase “digital asset” is being used, but we have yet to come to a legally-accepted definition. A simple definition is that a digital asset is content owned by an individual that is stored in digital form. But this may not be broad enough to encompass all the digital elements of an estate that have value. A more inclusive definition is that a digital asset is digitally stored content or an online account owned by an individual.

This article walks through this definition and highlights issues presented by restrictive ownership of online accounts, terms of service, and choice of law.

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All-electronic finances a powerful reason to plan for digital assets.

The U.S. Treasury announced today that on January 1, 2012 it will end the sale of over-the-counter paper savings bonds. It’s all digital from there on out. That’s just one more reason to add digital assets and accounts to your client’s estate plan.

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