Science, Computers & Technology Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Blog: HIPAA FAQ Series: Does HIPAA Protect the PHI of Deceased Individuals?

In order to protect the privacy and security of patients’ information, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) imposes substantial obligations on covered entities (certain providers, plans, and health...more

Protecting Digital Assets: 6 Steps to Take on Death or Incapacity

It used to be enough for a fiduciary and her attorney to simply search through a decedent’s or incapacitated person’s papers in his or her workplace and at home, watch the mailbox for a 90 day cycle, and review tax returns...more

California introduces ‘opt-in’ digital assets bill

On June 8, 2015, it was reported that the California legislature is considering a new bill, A.B. 691, which would set forth the procedure for handling a deceased individual’s digital assets, including their social media...more

Fiduciary News - June 2015

Changes Coming for Pennsylvania Fiduciaries in Their Ability to Access and Manage Digital Assets and Accounts - On January 1, 2015, Delaware became the first state to enact a comprehensive law granting fiduciaries the...more

What Happens to Your Digital Life After Death? Planning for the Transfer Of Digital Assets

Most people do not think about the large digital footprint that they have created. More importantly, they do not think about how their digital assets might pass (or not) at death. Since these assets may have value, either...more

Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

If you use a computer, you likely have digital assets that should be addressed as part of your estate planning. Access to digital assets is governed by an evolving and complicated technical and legal framework, including...more

Life After Death: No Longer Inconceivable

Recent legislation provides a framework for inheritance rights of children conceived after the death of one or both parents in very specific circumstances....more

Trustees Should Avoid Bitcoin

As bitcoin becomes increasingly popular, some are starting to ask: should trustees of trusts invest a portion of trust assets in bitcoin? There are very strong reasons why they should not. As I explain below, investing in...more

Estate Planning for the Digital Life

While individuals will eventually pass on, the internet is forever. Online accounts from games, apps and social media are becoming increasingly valuable. In an age of expanding online presence, estate planners and...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $23 Billion. The total revenue generated by the additional Medicare tax and the net investment income tax used to pay for the Affordable Care Act. The total exceeds the Joint Committee on Taxation’s 2010...more

What happens to your online digital accounts at death?

More online digital companies are providing users the ability to control what happens to their accounts after death. For example, Facebook now allows you to name a “legacy contact” to manage your Facebook page after...more

Who Will Update My Status When I’m Dead?: The Biggest Social Media Platforms’ Policies on Deceased-User Accounts

It’s often said that, when it comes to regulating technology, U.S. laws aren’t up to speed. That includes U.S. trusts and estates laws, which, in many cases, do not say much about what happens to your digital assets after you...more

"The Estate Planner" – March/April 2015

In this issue: - Second Trip Down The Aisle? – Update Your Estate Plan To Reflect Your Second Marriage - 21st Century Estate Planning For Digital Assets - Planning For Aging Parents – 5 Tips For The...more

Facebook Takes a Step Forward for Digital Afterlife

Late last week Facebook released several new features that will aid in the management of a user’s account after the user’s death. While there has been little notification of these features on Facebook itself, the new features...more

Facebook Allows Users to Designate "Legacy Contact"

Access to digital assets following an individual's death continues to be a hot topic, and once again has made the news. This time, Facebook has announced a new feature called a "Legacy Contact." Essentially, this is the...more

HIPAA Considerations In The Event Of Employee Death or Incapacitation

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, otherwise known as HIPAA, acts in part to provide federal protection for identifiable health information retained by covered entities, which includes most...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2014

November Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The November Section 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs,...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

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 - August 2014 #10

..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

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

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

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

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

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

Estate Planning for Social Media and Electronic Gadgets?

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

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