Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Privacy

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Status Updates - March 2015

Forced friendship. A committee of the Arkansas Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would allow companies and other organizations responsible for supervising minors to require their employees to include a...more

Appointing a Legacy Contact for a Facebook Account After Death

Facebook now allows you to appoint a “legacy contact” for your Facebook account after you die. Previously, after a user died, Facebook would not allow anyone else to access or modify the deceased user’s Facebook account, but...more

And They’re Off!! The Maryland Legislative Session Has Begun

Maryland has begun its legislative session and PK Law is monitoring bills of interest. Bear in mind that the session is early on and many changes may take place during the 90 days the General Assembly is seated. Here are...more

Video Clip: Family Fights to Access Late Son’s Digital Data

Minnesota’s KSTP-TV Eyewitness News ran a video story on January 20, 2015, by Tom Hauser about the Anderson family who tragically lost their nineteen-year-old son, Jake. Their son’s death was ruled accidental, but the family...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

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

Is a human corpse property that can be made the subject of a trust?

While a pet may be put into a trust, its human owner may not be. Nor under traditional principles of property and trust law may the corpse of a deceased human being be made the subject of a trust. Charles E. Rounds, Jr.,...more

The fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege: A recent development

In a suit by the beneficiary against the trustee, is the trustee entitled to assert the attorney-client privilege against the beneficiary, or is there a fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege? As to...more

Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA)

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

Privacy or Property? Arizona Court Adopts Post-Mortem Right of Publicity In Intra-Family Online Dispute

The right of publicity, i.e., the right not to have others appropriate your name or image for commercial purposes, is an odd duck. It was described by Professor Prosser in 1960, and later in the Restatement of Torts, as of...more

Trustee Alert – HIPAA EDI Certification Proposed Rule

The Trust's business associates who perform electronic transactions on its behalf are required to follow certain HIPAA standards and operating rules. A recently published proposed rule introduces a new requirement to submit...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

Heirs’ Right of Publicity

When I read about one of the recent “right of publicity” cases, I thought back to the Eighties and “Who Shot JR?” This is because Mary Crosby, as the character Kristin Shepard, was the one who shot JR in 1980 on the widely...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

How to Maintain Records for your Digital Assets

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

Florida statute provides confidentiality in disputes involving wills and trusts

Which American president was the first to incorporate arbitration as a dispute resolution method in his will? Every lawyer swears an oath to maintain the secrets of clients. This is the client’s guarantee that when he...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

Report From Counsel: Insights and Developments in the Law - Fall 2013

In this Issue: - Limited Liability Companies — The Best of All Worlds? - Employees Are Responsible for Beneficiary Designations - Protect Your Plastic - HOA Can Regulate Common Area -...more

Nursing Homes Must Abide by HIPAA Rules When Disclosing Deceased Resident PHI

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

Afterlife Identity Protection: Who to Notify When a Loved One Passes

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

Thieves Pursuing Identities of the Deceased: Estate Plan Now!

Identity theft not only violates its victim's privacy rights, but often presents overwhelming challenges which can take years to repair the damage inflicted on one's credit and financial records. To add pain to misery, today...more

Florida Medical Record Disclosure Law Preempted by HIPAA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently ruled that a Florida law requiring nursing homes to disclose patient records of deceased patients was preempted by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...more

Health Law: Family Feud Redux - The Release of Information to Family Members - HIPAA 164.510(B) & the New Standard

It has always been difficult to make determinations regarding what information can be provided to a family member once a patient or long-term care resident has passed away....more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2012

In This Issue: - Does your trust need a protector? - Privacy, please! Keep family matters out of the public eye by avoiding probate - Consider a “stretch” to maximize and preserve IRA benefits - Estate Planning...more

Confidentiality in the BVI and Cayman Islands

The issue of confidentiality in offshore financial centres is high on the agenda in the financial press. Whether it is banking secrecy or the disclosure requirements governing the establishment of offshore companies and...more

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