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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
Minnesota’s KMSP-TV Fox 9 News ran a video story on September 9, 2014, by Ted Haller about a family wanting access to their deceased nineteen-year-old son’s digital data. They have been seeking access to his text messages,...more
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
On August 12, 2014, Delaware’s governor signed into law the Delaware Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which is based on an earlier draft of the recently-approved Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Asset Act....more
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
..Death in the digital age. When someone dies, his or her heirs or executor will have broad rights to access the deceased person’s letters, documents and other physical assets. Delaware has just become the first state to...more
..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
On July 16, 2014, the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) was passed by the Uniform Law Commission. My colleague Gene Hennig and I originally proposed this uniform law in May of 2011, and I’m very happy...more
Traditionally, estate planning provides for the transfer of your assets through a will or a trust. These documents name an executor or trustee, respectively, to handle your affairs after your death, including the transfer of...more
For estate planning and tax advisers, it’s important to know about all of a person’s valuable and significant assets, including digital assets, so that they can help the person properly plan ahead for incapacity, death, and...more
It is often said that the law lags behind technology. One area where this sentiment is particularly applicable is estate planning for digital assets. In a world where our lives are becoming ever more digital, many estate...more
A rapidly growing number of people do everything online, from managing their banking to storing their photos, writing the next best-seller, or documenting the next great invention. Yet few of them have read the Terms of...more
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
This post is the third in a four-part series about Digital Assets and estate planning. Read part 1, “What are Digital Assets?” and part 2, “Do your Digital Assets have Value?”. As previously discussed, Digital Assets, such as...more
The purpose of this post and is to bring you, our clients, information about a type of ‘asset’ most of you own. These assets are called Digital Assets, which include any electronically-stored accounts, information and data....more
Increasingly, we interact with the world around us through digital devices and social media. Compared to decades past, our most essential information is now stored on a computer or hand-held device. Everything can now be done...more
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
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
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
The Birds and the Bees for Trustees
by James F. McDonough, Jr. on August 20, 2013
Today, an increasing number of children are born with assistance of advanced reproductive technology. Such children may be conceived and...more
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) contains the HIPAA Privacy and Security rules....more
If a person dies without addressing digital assets in his or her estate plan, loved ones or other representatives may not be able to access them without going to court — or, worse yet, may not even know they exist. These...more
When a loved one passes away, a crucial step in minimizing the risk of identity left is to notify the proper entities, such as government and credit reporting agencies, banks, and creditors of your loved one's death....more
On July 23, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issued a long-anticipated Final Rule regarding the 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B Program) orphan drug...more
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
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