Communications & Media Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Managing Your Online Presence after Death

As we become an increasingly technology-dependent society, so much of what we do is online. Between email, Facebook, photos, music and documents stored online or in the cloud, most of us will have built a considerable online...more

Planning for Digital Assets

The term “digital assets” has become an umbrella term for all manner of assets, including airline rewards, hotel points, e-mail accounts, domain names, online bank accounts, social networking accounts (e.g., Facebook), data...more

Digital Insights & Trends: "Digital Assets"...or Liabilities?

Delaware’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act (H.B. 345) makes Delaware the latest state to regulate access to “digital assets” after death. Unless the account-holder instructs otherwise, legally...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Update - October 2014

In This Issue: - October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month - New California Data Protection Law - Obama Signs Cybersecurity Executive Order - FTC Cautions Executives About Personal Liability for False...more

Report From Counsel: Insights and Developments in the Law - Fall 2014

In this Report: - Homeowners’ Insurance: The Devil Resides in the Details - “Cybersmear” Lawsuits - Age Discrimination in Employment - The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning...more

Defamation From Beyond the Grave: Using Your Last Will To Get In The Last Word

Halloween is a good time to think about how you want to die. Do you want to leave the world peacefully? Or do you want to go down trash talking, making sure that your enemies know exactly what you think about them, and that...more

Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Accounts

Traditionally, a person’s most valuable assets to be distributed upon death consisted of tangible items such as real property, cash, jewelry and personal effects of sentimental value like photographs and letters. However, the...more

Advertising Law - September 2014

Complimentary TCPA Update Webinar: The Year in Review and What Lies Ahead - One year has passed since the implementation of the Federal Communication Commission’s revised Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rules....more

Delaware Enacts Law Governing Access To Digital Records After Death

On August 12, Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell signed the Digital Access and Digital Accounts Act, the first law in the nation to comprehensively govern access to a person’s digital assets, including social media and email...more

Delaware Grants Access to Social Media After Death

Delaware has become the first state to enact the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the "Act") The Uniform Law Commission describes the act as a law "that will vest fiduciaries with at least the authority to...more

Status Updates - July 2014 #9

..According to a current study by Bank of America, Americans are very closely attached to their smartphones. Of those surveyed, 85 percent said they check their phone at least a few times a day and 35 percent say they check...more

Can you bequeath your iTunes playlist?

Estate-planning is surely far from the minds of the majority of us when we log into iTunes to buy a copy of the latest catchy song from the radio. While we accumulate ever-larger collections of digital media (books, movies,...more

Facebook Updates Its Policies for Deceased Users

According to a February 21, 2014, news release, Facebook has made two updates to its policies regarding the accounts of deceased users. Previously, Facebook allowed one of two options for a deceased user’s account. ...more

Valuable $50,000 Twitter Account Allegedly Stolen

There was an interesting January 29, 2014, article on CNET written by Don Reisinger describing how a thief/hacker allegedly hijacked an Internet domain name and e-mail account belonging to Naoki Hiroshima and stole his...more

Thoughts on the Stored Communications Act, Federal Preemption and Supremacy, and State Laws on Fiduciary Access to Digital...

As of the date of this posting, seven states have recently passed laws and at least eighteen other states are considering new laws granting fiduciary access to an incapacitated or deceased person’s online accounts and other...more

Digital Assets Raise Estate Planning Questions

More and more, we are conducting our business on the Internet, whether that's online banking, shopping at Amazon and other sites, uploading documents and files to the "cloud," posting videos on YouTube, or communicating with...more

August 2013 List of State Laws and Proposals Regarding Fiduciary Access to Digital Property During Incapacity or After Death

When a person becomes incapacitated or after a person dies, there are significant challenges that fiduciaries and family members face when dealing with that person’s smartphones, computers, electronically stored information,...more

Tax Law Alert: The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Washington Legislature Adjourned on June 29

The 2nd Special Session of the 2013 Legislature adjourned sine die on June 29, 2013. The accomplishment of this session was passage of a state budget, which had eluded state legislators through the Regular Session that ended...more

Tips From Security Experts on Choosing and Storing Passwords

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear when I talk about estate planning for digital property is, “How should I choose and store secure passwords for my accounts?” There’s a great July 10, 2013, article by Dan...more

Tales from the (En)crypt(ed): What Happens to Your Online Account Information When You Die?

Have you ever wondered what happens to your online account information when you die? Well, in a few days, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) will be considering this very issue – fiduciary access to digital assets – at its...more

What is a Social Media Will?

A government publication called the Consumer Action Handbook refers to the preparation of a social media will. Many people have online accounts of various types. What happens to them when you die?...more

Terms of Service and Deceased User’s Account

In Ajemian v. Yahoo Inc. (May 7, 2013), a Massachusetts court considered this question. Two brothers, who administered their brother John’s estate, brought a lawsuit against Yahoo for access to email messages of their...more

Is There Life After Death for Your Digital Assets?

Digital assets. It is a phrase that is currently trending among legal commentators and Canadians alike. Some argue that it is a critical topic for any estate plan. Others feel it has no place in an estate planning meeting. ...more

What happens to your digital assets after you die?

Most people understand the need to protect, and assign, their assets after their death. They know who will care for their children or pets, who will receive the family heirloom brooch, and who will inherit their financial...more

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