Communications & Media Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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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

Intellectual property requires careful estate planning

Intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, can have great value, but in many ways they’re treated differently from other property types. This article explains the differences between patents and copyrights....more

FCC Sets Limits on Use of Divestiture Trusts When Station Purchase Would Put Buyer in Violation of Multiple Ownership Rules

When one broadcast licensee company buys another, or when there is a restructuring of a company with broadcast ownership holdings that are grandfathered under current ownership rules, there often arises a need to divest...more

Value of Internet Domain Names in Estate Planning and Probate

Today, I saw an interesting article about the value of Internet domain names, especially as more mobile devices move to “apps” instead of Website–based services. The July 20, 2011, article was written by Austin Carr and...more

Protecting An Artist's Legacy Through Estate Planing, Probate and Post-Death Administratin Part 2

Part 2 of 2: In the US alone, thousands of copyright creators and/or copyright owners die each year. How many of these folks create a comprehensive estate plan, or even a basic will or simple trust? The goal of estate...more

Protecting An Artist's Legacy Through Estate Planing, Probate and Post-Death Administratin Part 1

Part 1 of 2: In the US alone, thousands of copyright creators and/or copyright owners die each year. How many of these folks create a comprehensive estate plan, or even a basic will or simple trust? The goal of estate...more

Saunders v. Jerry Garcia Estate, LLC

First Amended Complaint

The latest suit against assets once controlled by Jerry Garcia involves the trust holding the publicity rights of musician Merl Saunders vs Jerry Garcia Estate, LLC. Merl Saunders performed hundreds of times with Garcia...more

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