Digital Assets 2014 Update


What Should Happen to the Online Accounts, Frequent Flyer Miles and Reward Points?

A good estate plan takes into consideration "digital assets", the online banking and investment accounts, credit card reward points, frequent flyer airline miles, photos stored online, email, social media accounts of all types, and, of course, the passwords to gain access to the digital assets. 


The newsletter introduced the concept of digital assets in an article about three years ago, and revisited the subject in Fall 2013.  In the intervening period, there has been an incredible increase in attention paid to the subject with numerous specialty websites:  www.digitalpassing.com is a blog covering the intersection between estate planning (planning for a person’s incapacity and death) and the digital world (passwords, online accounts, intellectual property, and other digital property). 

www.thedigitalbeyond.com covers laws proposed or passed by state legislatures on a fiduciary's right to gain access to the passwords and online accounts.  It also provides sample language for wills, powers of attorney and trusts.

www.everplans.com/articles/how-to-create-a-digital-estate-plan has a five-step program to start creating the digital estate plans.

On the legislative front, eight states have passed a variation of the model law "Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act".  Maryland and Virginia considered and rejected a similar proposal in the 2013 session.  Virginia did pass a 2013 law allowing the family of a deceased minor to gain access social media account.

Dominion Law Group --  Leesburg Estate Planners