Thursday, March 31, 2016
The issue of who can access digital accounts and assets after the death of the owner has been in the news recently since most states did not have any statutes on point which leaves estates to the mercy of user agreements. But Michigan has joined the ranks of states taking action on the issue with new legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder. The bill allows a user to use online tools to dictate who may or may not have access to their online content which can be changed at any time. In addition, wills, trusts, and power of attorneys may set the parameters of who may access an online asset and what level of control may be exercised over it. However, the online tool will control over a will so those using it should keep that in mind when seeking to make changes to the access that was granted in a different document. A copy of the new statute can be found here.
See Alexandra Bahou, New Michigan law lets you designate a person to control your digital assets after death, WXYZ, March 30, 2016.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.