Living in a Digital World

The world is much different than it was fifty years ago, or even five years ago. Most everything is done online. Gone are the days of snail mail and telephone conversations. We live in a digital age of emails, texts, online bill payment, and social media. But what happens to all of this digital information when one passes away or becomes incapacitated? When you are getting your affairs in order, you must consider things such as credit card points, digital photos, music, and books, and your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You want to ensure that these assets are transferred to the person or your choosing and not disseminated to the public or destroyed.

The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act of 2015 now requires that your Personal Representative, Trustee, you agent acting under your Power of Attorney form, and Health Care Agent be specifically authorized to access electronically stored information related to you or your records. Access to any online or electronically stored information requires specific permission from you to access that information.

The Act gives fiduciaries the legal authority to manage digital assets and electronic communications in the same way they manage tangible assets and financial accounts. The Act removes barriers to a fiduciary’s access to electronic records and property. Digital assets such as photos, digital music, and client lists can have a real economic or sentimental value, yet they are often overlooked when one examines their “assets”.

In a digital world, we must ensure we are taking care of all of our assets. Consult with your Estate Planning attorney to incorporate this important piece into your new or existing estate plan.

Contact us today if you have questions about this topic or if we can assist you with your Estate Planning needs.

Fill out the form below, or call our Stillwater, MN office at 651-439-2878 or Hudson, WI office at 715-386-3733.

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