Several months ago, a previous post discussed the important issue of what happens to someone’s online accounts after their death. Last week, the Uniform Law Commission approved model legislation to address this growing problem.
From the Uniform Law Commission’s news release:
The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act solves the problem using the concept of “media neutrality.” If a fiduciary would have access to a tangible asset, that fiduciary will also have access to a similar type of digital asset. UFADAA governs four common types of fiduciaries: personal representatives of a deceased person’s estate; guardians or conservators of a protected person’s estate; agents under a power of attorney; and trustees.
UFADAA defers to an account holder’s privacy choices as expressed in a document (such as a will or trust), or online by an affirmative act separate from the general terms-of-service agreement. Therefore, an account holder’s desire to keep certain assets private will be honored under UFADAA.
The draft legislation — which gives the deceased’s representative access to the accounts unless a will, court order, or law provides otherwise — would only become effective if adopted by a state’s legislature.