Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, July 18, 2022

"Is there virtual life after death?" -- Hess Memorial Lecture

The 2022 Hess Memorial Lecture entitled Is There Virtual Life After Death? Dealing with Cryptocurrency, Non-Fungible Tokens, Electronic Communications, and the Metaverse in the Context of Estate Planning is now available for on-line viewing.

Here is a description of the lecture:

Modern estate planning involves much more than planning for the distribution of a client’s home, corporate securities, money, and family heirlooms. New types of property without tangible form are evolving rapidly, from ubiquitous electronic communications such as e-mail and text messages, to the generally understood realm of cryptocurrency, to the growing use of ethereal non-fungible tokens, and to the fringes of purchasing “land” in the Metaverse, or the non-physical digital world. Without an understanding of these assets, attorneys will lack the sophistication necessary to provide sage advice to their estate planning clients.

Professor Beyer describes the structure of cyber assets and examine the planning techniques currently available, starting with basic steps that provide substantial predictability. He discusses the uncertainty in outcomes that may arise due to the extreme value volatility of many of these virtual assets, and the prudent methods that planners should consider when these assets form part of an estate or trust to reduce the potential of fiduciary liability. His presentation concludes with a look towards what the future may hold for cyber property and its estate planning interface.

Since the late 1960s, the Mortimer H. Hess Memorial Lecture has been sponsored annually by the Estate & Gift Taxation Committee of the New York City Bar.  The lecture series, originally created by the family of the late tax lawyer Mortimer H. Hess, is made possible through a generous grant from Mr. Hess’s family and former partners.


Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink


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