Thursday, April 25, 2013
Jamie Patrick Hopkins (Assistant Professor of Taxation, The American College of Financial Services) recently published an article entitled, Afterlife In the Cloud: Managing a Digital Estate, 5 HASTINGS SCI. & TECH. L.J. 210 (2013). Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:
The rapid development of electronic devices and widespread access the internet has ushered in a new age: the digital age. The digital age has changed the manner in which assets are created and transferred. This digitalization of wealth challenges the effectiveness and efficiencies of traditional estate planning mechanisms. Additionally, modified estate planning techniques and the development of digital estate planning services have created serious privacy, security, and efficiency concerns for the transfer and management of digital estates. As such, creative and innovative digital estate planning solutions are required to ensure the privacy, security, and proper disposition of digital estates. However, because the problems facing digital estate planning are complex, a combination of legislative action and improved online service agreements are essential to solving the digital estate dilemma. Until digital asset ownership and transferability questions are resolved, digital estate planning will remain in flux as traditional estate planning appears ill suited for the management and disbursement of digital assets.