Saturday, January 16, 2021
Pennsylvania's Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act will become effective on January 19, 2021. The Act "provides the authority for certain categories of fiduciaries to access a deceased individual's digital assets or electronic communications, and creates a framework for disclosure of an individual's digital assets and electronic communications."
The Act will not apply to a digital asset of an employer used by an employee in the ordinary course of business.
Digital asset is defined as "electronic records in which an individual user has a right or interest and does not include underlying assets or liabilities unless the asset or liability is itself an electric record."
The law applies to fiduciaries, personal representatives, persons acting as guardians, and trustees of an estate if the user was a Pennsylvania resident at the time of death.
The law also recognizes there are online tools offered by digital service providers that allow users to direct a digital asset custodian to disclose (or not disclose) a user's digital assets. If the online service has not been used, the user may use a will, trust, power of attorney, or other record to allow the disclosure by a fiduciary of the user's digital assets.
"In the absence of either the use of an online tool or express direction, the terms of service the user had with their digital asset custodian — defined as the entity that carries, maintains, processes, receives or stores a digital asset of a user — will be applicable."
There are also other provisions and procedures for disclosing digital assets that allow other types and degrees of authority, access, and disposition of a user's account.
See PA’s Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Takes Effect on January 19, 2021, Weiner, Brodsky, Kider PC, January 7, 2021.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.