DGAA bLAWg

Digital Assets and Estate Planning – Why Your Will May Not Be Enough

Web Admin - Friday, October 21, 2016
Long Grove estate planning lawyersIf you are like most people, you probably have a slew of digital content, and it may be held in several different online accounts. You might have music on iTunes, books or movies on Amazon, photos on Facebook or Instagram, private and business emails, and even an app that tracks your frequent flier miles. Having this content is not necessarily problematic, but troubles can arise if you pass away before assigning a digital fiduciary. What is a digital fiduciary, and why do you need one? The following information explains. 

What is a Digital Fiduciary? 

A digital fiduciary is essentially a person who has been given legal access to your online account. They can take actions that are in accordance with your wishes, such as deleting an account that you no longer need, closing out a digital subscription, transferring content to preserve photos or music, or using frequent flier miles and digital gift cards for themselves. Of course, this only happens if you assign one using the proper legal channels. Fail to do so and your content could be lost forever. 

Why Your Will is Not Enough 

In 1986, Congress enacted the Stored Communications Act (SCA). Designed to protect the online content and privacy of American citizens, and a part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, it was essentially a digital extension of the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately, Congress had not anticipated how problematic the SCA would eventually become for fiduciaries. 

You see, the SCA prohibits digital account custodians, like Facebook and Google, from disclosing personal information about their users. These custodians protect themselves through user agreements, which you probably agreed to when you opened the account. Of course, few people actually read these long and confusing agreements, so they rarely understand what is at risk. Think you can solve this problem with a simple will? Think again. 

Cases across the country indicate that a will may or may not be helpful when trying to gain access to a digital account. In fact, even after an executor has met all the demands of a custodian, such as supplying a copy of a death certificate and a copy of the will, they may still only gain partial access to your account. One family did not even receive that. Instead, they were given a CD with their son’s public photos, which left them with no way to gain access to anything that remained private. 

Assigning a Digital Fiduciary 

Illinois recently took steps to help estate executors gain access to online accounts that they might have otherwise been unable to reach. However, there are still many issues that can arise if you do not specifically designate a digital fiduciary. You can now do this using an online tool that keeps all your account information in one easy-to-access place. As expressed in the next section, this tool can also help you minimize the risk of certain breaches of your privacy. 

How Much Power Does a Digital Fiduciary Have? 

It can be troubling to think about your spouse finding photos of an ex-girlfriend that you just could not bring yourself to get rid of, or your children reading an unpublished blog entry about a personal and sensitive matter. There could be emails that you do not want your family to access, or content that you do not want them to read. Just how likely is it that they will gain access to this information? 

Though a digital fiduciary can override the privacy clauses in user agreements to provide access, all that they do is supposed to be in your best interest, and in accordance with your wishes. You can instruct them by clearly defining it in both your will, and your online tool. Further, you can leave off user names and passwords for accounts that you do not want your fiduciary to access. If all else fails, plan ahead and transfer any sensitive content to a place that will not be accessed by your fiduciary. 

Contact Our Long Grove Estate Planning Attorneys 

If you want to ensure that your digital content is protected but still want to preserve your privacy and your family’s well-being, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Dedicated and experienced, we offer comprehensive services to fit your family’s needs. Call 847-934-6000 and schedule your consultation with our Long Grove estate planning lawyers today.


About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.




Sources:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-digital-death-privacy-laws-ap-bsi-20161003-story.html
http://www.americanbar.org/publications/probate_property_magazine_2012/2016/july_august_2016/2016_aba_rpte_pp_v30_4_article_klein_parthemer_understanding_fiduciary_access_to_digital_assets.html
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/08/30/your-digital-will-how-to-share-your-data-after-death.html



Recent Posts


Tags

Illinois employee rights attorney. Chicago will attorney Forcible Entry eluding a police officer Thanksgiving Chicago attorney investment property Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Des Plaines insurance claim personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys wills defective products lawyer Illinois employment law attorneys spinal cord injuries Jay Andrew Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act auto accidents insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Schaumburg Attorney Chicago employment lawyer advance healthcare directive Joliet general practice lawyers Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Fair Labor Standards Act wrongful death material misrepresentation breach of contract estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer Barrington civil litigation attorney employee misclassification insurance agents condo insurance claim dispute Barrington personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights trucking lawyer comp time construction accidents capital gains tax Schaumburg personal injury attorney insurance dispute attorney Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Illinois Sales Representative Act Illinois insurance disputes traffic laws insurance disputes wills and trusts filing a medical malpractice claim digital information Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Palatine civil attorney sexual harassment personal injury law firm medical marijuana Illinois workers compensation lawyer Schaumburg elder law lawyer power of attorney for healthcare commercial leasing truck collisions Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Whistleblower Claims sole proprietorship llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Des Plaines civil attorney bike accident Barrington injury attorney estate plan Long Grove estate planning living trust benefits Policy Cancellation Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers breathalyzer test Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Arlington Heights traffic attorney workers comp marijuana Illinois employment law attorney child safety Des Plaines collections attorney Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney business litigation Attorney Ken Apicella Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney POA unpaid overtime DUI boating accidents Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Crystal Lake car accident lawyer medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer South Barrington real estate lawyer Barrington medical malpractice lawyers beneficiary complications estate tax elder abuse Illinois traffic accident lawyer federal regulations for LLCs traffic tickets Illinois personal injury attorney wrongful termination lapse in policy personal injury attorney forming a corporation in Illinois Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer personal injury claims trucking accident lawyers attorney fees rest breaks medical malpractice compensation traffic crimes Des Plaines accident attorney insurance claim denial uninsured motorist new real estate form insurance adjusters food poisoning Chicago estate planning Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake injury attorney Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers premises liability Buffalo Grove law firm Illinois traffic attorney IRA trust transfer Chicago life insurance attorney Inverness real estate attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys estate planning lawyer Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer probate claims Illinois estate planning law firm institutional trustee Fourth of July workers compensation life insurance residential real estate real estate attorneys Schaumburg traffic lawyer liability Chicago car accident lawyer job lawyers insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys dynasty trusts spinal cord injury dog bites Mount Prospect elder law attorney cell phone tower data IRELA Illinois elder law attorney how to avoid common denials of life insurance claims Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer GM ignition switches commercial leases changes to mortgage law Chicago employment attorney BAC Inverness real estate lawyer Illinois pet lawyer dealing with problem employees natural gas explosion Schaumburg life insurance attorney vacation home fines insufficient documentation Palatine punch death Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Des Plaines claims law firm slip and fall accidents Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Illinois defective products attorney reckless homicide Crystal Lake pet attorney clemency murder defense modern family estate planning insurance attorney Palatine construction attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys workers compensation benefits in terrorem provision rollover car crashes Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Des Plaines injury law firm Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer fiduciary rule Palatine life insurance lawyer elder law Rolling Meadows Attorney Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Inverness injury lawyer living trust vs will Barrington attorney pet law nursing home negligence car accident appealing an insurance claim probate lawyer Illinois small business expungement Crystal Lake employment law attorney Illinois trusts attorney Palatine corporate attorney Palatine drug lawyer irrevocable trust Barrington business law firm car crashes Barrington drug crime attorney Palatine business attorney loss of consortium Exclusions preventable medical errors Illinois collections attorney Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer foreclosure Illinois employment attorneys Legal Info Chicago trucking accident attorney IRS insurance negligence Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act criminal motorcycle accident lawyer severance agreements underinsured motorist Illinois insurance attorney minimum wage employees Illinois insurance lawyer Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission real estate leasing FSLA Illinois traffic laws Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Palatine traffic lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer car accident lawyer traffic deaths Deer Park traffic lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer Des Plaines real estate lawyer DUI attorney Palatine Attorney hands free device Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute South Barrington real estate attorney traumatic brain injuries caregiver cell phone Crystal Lake tax lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Barrington Traffic Lawyer Schaumburg construction accident lawyer living trust IRA benefits Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Family Medical Leave Act Long Grove estate planning attorneys wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Palatine employment lawyer involuntary manslaughter denied insurance claim Affordable Care Act slip and fall Barrington employment attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer liability claims digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, life insurance claims Inverness accident lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys most common reasons for life insurance claim denials disability benefits drunk driving statistics Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Rolling Meadows traffic law firm defective products Illinois real estate boating DUI Illinois insurance dispute lawyers digital evidence paid sick leave trench injuries Illinois workplace lawyer PTSD college kids Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Arlington Heights criminal lawyer BUI denial of life insurance pet bites Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Employment Discrimination Law Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney surgical mistakes Palatine workers compensation lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer Deer Park traffic accident attorney Palatine trusts lawyer golf accidents Barrington criminal lawyer Arlington Heights employment attorney Deer Park employment law attorney Des Plaines insurance attorney Retaliatory Discharge Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Arlington Heights car accident lawyer drug crimes lawyer financial advisors Chicago insurance law firm Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Crystal Lake law firm insurance denial appeals estate planning for college students traffic violations real estate contract license landlord hit and run accident insurance denials BAIID manufacturing drug crime driving blended families Arlington Heights lawyer digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Do Not Resuscitate denial of insurance claim employment contract estate planning trusts Chicago biking tips hiring employees Schaumburg civil litigation attorney creditors Illinois license suspension license reinstatement gift taxes Schaumburg wrongful death attorney unpaid assessment power of attorney tax attorney Illinois wills and trusts attorneys Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm Illinois estate planning attorney texting and driving Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney probate claims process agent Barrington estate planning attorney employee discrimination Palatine real estate lawyer Arlington Heights Attorney pain and suffering Schaumburg employment attorney healthcare claims Self-Directed IRA Accounts Schaumburg injury lawyer Barrington estate planning lawyer overtime violations Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney Chicago insurance claim attorneys mass shooting Arlington Heights employment law attorneys employment law special needs trust FMLA startup company Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Schaumburg drug defense lawyer bicycle accidents Illinois driving without license Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer whistleblower protections employment lawyer traffic offenses drug crimes Illinois Probate Act of 1975 estate planning accidental death benefits Long Grove real estate lawyer automated cars Barrington real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Barrington litigation attorney Illinois injury lawyer social media after death Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys DUI defense marijuana crimes attorney murder license revocation Illinois speeding lawyer homestead rights probate fees digital assets Illinois boating accident lawyer Illinois insurance claims lawyers small business Illinois business lawyer Illinois bicycle safety drugs Schaumburg criminal law attorney traffic accidents Illinois personal injury lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorney Colin Gilbert problem employees Palatine personal injury lawyer Illinois Smoke Detector Act Inverness probate lawyer Illinois DUI attorney Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer right to work Inverness civil lawyer Illinois employment law mortgage Illinois employment lawyer CAM insurance claims medical malpractice claims Inverness corporate attorney car crash injuries trauma after an accident workplace sexual harassment Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer owner responsibility ACA Transfer on Death Instrument trucking accidents anesthesia errors probate guardianship attorney Arlington Heights tax lawyer Illinois job attorney medication errors fault based insurance estate attorney personal injury Illinois criminal defense attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer work unions installment contracts motorcycle accident suspended license Rolling Meadows employment attorney operating agreements Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Illinois medical malpractice attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney criminal law Illinois medical malpractice case insurance claim delay comparative negligence Illinois Human Rights Act Palatine estate planning lawyer real estate zoning employment attorney Illinois living will employee rights top life insurance claim denials commercial real estate Rolling Meadows employment law attorney distracted driving accidents gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Crystal Lake insurance lawyer real estate lawyer Crystal Lake accident attorney Deer Park real estate law firm personal injury claim Illinois wills and trusts Illinois personal injury Home Sale Contingencies dram shop law Long Grove estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer traffic violations defense swimming pools Schaumburg insurance lawyers Des Plaines pet law attorney Chicago traffic lawyer car accident lawyers Illinois home inspection cell phone accidents Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer first degree murder unauthorized overtime pregnant women Home Remodeling Repair Act landlord tenant law coronavirus life insurance lawyer foreclosed rental property civil rights violation Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Illinois medical malpractice claim Crystal Lake will lawyer probate process products liability Illinois workers compensation attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Rolling Meadows traffic attorney loopholes Schaumburg employment law attorneys back injuries Illinois lawyer Crystal Lake business law attorneys Illinois red light cameras Illinois rollover accident lawyers Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Inverness DUI lawyer Barrington workers compensation attorney deadly crashes no contest clauses Deer Park criminal attorney drunk driving Arlington Heights injury attorney Chicago estate planning lawyer ObamaCare unfunded trust civil litigation car collision Barrington personal injury attorney Inverness elder law lawyer real estate Palatine corporate law attorneys ken apicella field sobriety test jet ski Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Palatine injury attorney bad faith insurance claims Palatine employment attorney Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer trusts life insurance claim denial, denial of life insurance claim taxes Schaumburg real estate lawyer Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers traumatic brain injury Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Crystal Lake employment attorney independent contractor icy parking lots Barrington boating accident attorney Arlington Heights estate planning attorney DGAA personal injury lawyer pay when paid contract Illinois employment laws privacy holiday statistics revenge porn life insurance policy underage DUI LLCs federal crimes Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Chicago corporate attorney Barrington employment law firm speeding Des Plaines personal injury attorney car accidents pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Illinois will lawyer health insurance dispute Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Inverness traffic law firm Inverness personal injury attorney Deer Park personal injury lawyer Super Mario Illinois traffic attorneys Des Plaines real estate attorney Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Illinois civil litigation lawyer Schaumburg condo association Illinois corporate lawyer Deer Park workers compensation lawyer pedestrian-automobile accident Schaumburg corporate attorney contracts Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers Illinois attorney Palatine civil litigation lawyer insurance dispute Inverness insurance attorney Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm DMV Illinois Trust Code construction contracts income distribution deducation Palatine elder law attorney subcontractor Detainer Actions Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer School Visitation Rights Act Illinois wrongful termination lawyer Schaumburg estate planning attorney criminal record insurance claim denials drug possession real estate closing Barrington life insurance lawyer Illinois probate lawyer trustee Rolling Meadows life insurance claim denial attorney DUI penalities Arlington Heights accident attorney trust payments bicycle dooring accidents crossover accidents blood alcohol content Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows real estate attorney car crash Buffalo Grove real estate attorney rumble strips Palatine probate lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyers personal injury accidents internet estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Illinois estate planning Palatine employment law lawyer Illinois employment law firm medical research Illinois mortgages Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys civil litigation attorney Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Illinois law Illinois tax attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney Illinois trucking safety Riverwoods estate planning lawyer employment law, Illinois employment laws Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents cause-of-death exclusions Rolling Meadows Illinois business law atorneys Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Illinois car accident attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer natural gas Buffalo Grove life insurance attorney Deer Park accident attorney Des Plaines DUI attorney Buffalo Grove probate lawyer underfunded trust corporate law real estate attorney Crystal Lake car accident attorney criminal defense rollover accidents Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Illinois construction accident attorney texting while driving Landlord Tenant Ordinance Mt Prospect Attorney fatal car accidents product liability Des Plaines drug lawyer deed transfer Colin H. Gilbert Schaumburg probate attorney sexual images insurance agent negligence healthcare controlled substance Buffalo Grove traffic attorney employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, Rolling Meadows tax attorney brain injury Palatine law firm fiduciary rule delay Long Grove real estate attorney vacation home Illinois insurance claim attorney Palatine criminal defense lawyer murder charges pedestrian accident preventing accidents home inspection lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Liquor Control Act consent to a search meal breaks wage theft Illinois real estate lawyer Schaumburg car accident attorney senior citizens distracted driving accident victims jet ski accidents caretaker rights pedestrian accidents overtime pay DNR Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Palatine traffic accidents Barrington criminal defense lawyer medical malpractice living wills Schaumburg criminal attorney head on collisions low-ball insurance settlement insurance claim dispute attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation liens TBI denied insurance claims Illinois LLC creation compensatory time rent to own real estate contracts privacy laws Palatine insurance lawyer Class A misdemeanor Illinois registered agent estate planning attorney Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Barrington employment law attorney Chicago lawyer pizza emoji boating under the influence

Archive