Monday, August 18, 2014
Ashley F. Watkins recently published an article entitled, Digital Properties and Death: What Will Your Heirs Have to Access to After You Die?, 62 Buff. L. Rev. 193-235 (2014). Provided below is an excerpt from the article:
It’s easy to assume that your digital things aren’t significant. After all, they take up virtually no physical space and you do not see them everyday. But as you live an increasingly digital life, this collection grows. It’s more than just computer data, it’s a set of artifacts that has the potential to chronicle your life.1
Twenty years ago, lives were chronicled by letters, photos, home movies, and other items that could easily be passed on from generation to generation. These tangible items held emotional value for families and were able to act as mementos after the passing of a loved one.2 Today, these items can—and frequently are—stored digitally on a computer hard drive, a photo storage site, an email account, or something along those lines.3 Although the method of storage has changed, these items are no less valuable than they were in the past.