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

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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

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

Video Clip: Family Wants Access to Son’s Digital Data After Death

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

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 Enacts Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

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 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

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

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 and Tax Issues for Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currencies

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

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

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

What our Estate Planning Clients Need To Know - What are Digital Assets?

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

Key Factors of a Computer Digital Account (CDA) Plan to Protect Your Legacy

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

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

The Birds and the Bees for Trustees

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

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

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2013: A good reason to revisit your estate plan - Accounting for digital assets

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

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

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