Sunday, August 24, 2014
As I have previously discussed, Delaware recently passed legislation that allows families in Delaware the ability to access digital assets and accounts of deceased family members the same way they would be given access to physical documents. This new law makes Delaware the first state to give an answer to what happens to digital assets after death. For those in other states, the burden is on the individual to plan for what is to come of their online accounts. For assets to be available to family members after death, account passwords must be shared, though this is against the policies of most online account providers. If nothing is done, then many accounts just disappear, taking with them family photos, access to bank accounts, e-book collections, music libraries, and important medical information.
See Caitlin Dewey, What Happens to Your Online Life After You Die? Delaware Has Some Suggestions, The Washington Post, Aug. 20, 2014.
Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.