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The question of how to handle digital life after death can be problematic. Upon the death or incapacity of a loved one, there can be issues and privacy concerns with online bank accounts, Facebook pages, websites, and other digital assets.

That is why Illinois legislature recently passed House Bill 4648, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (2015). The bill clarifies who can handle what and how digital assets are distributed or terminated after someone has died or become incapacitated. Digital assets are a person’s rights or interests in electronic records, and can include social media accounts, shopping or travel reward accounts, online bank or investment accounts, email accounts, and photographs and documents stored on the cloud.

Once officially signed into law by Illinois’ Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act will assist Illinois families by outlining specific procedures for how digital assets are accessed and transferred by executors, guardians, agents, trustees and other fiduciaries upon a person’s death or incapacity. The law will be effective immediately once signed, and will be extremely important not only for estate and trust administration, but for all transactions associated with estates, trusts, and guardianships.

With the introduction of this bill, Illinois joins a growing list of states that have responded to concerns and issues related to digital assets after death or incapacitation. Check back soon for more information when this bill becomes law in Illinois.
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