Program Date: Friday, September 25, 2015
Panelist: Colin Korzec, Esq., Managing Director and Estate Settlement National Executive, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
Program Chairs: Kerry L. Spindler, Goulston & Storrs PC and Sara Goldman Curley, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, co-Chairs of the Trusts & Estates Section’s Estate Planning Brownbag Series
Materials: To view the program materials, click here.
Additional Resources: A link to the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act can be found here.
Summary of Program Topic: As the number of digital assets held by the average person increases, questions surrounding the disposition of these assets upon death or incapacity are becoming more common. Few laws exist on the rights of fiduciaries over digital assets and few individuals consider the fate of their online presences once they are no longer able to manage their digital assets.
The situation regarding fiduciaries’ access to digital assets is unclear, and even fiduciaries who believe they have been granted access to digital assets may inadvertently run afoul of uncoordinated probate, privacy and computer hacking laws. To the extent that there is existing legislation, such laws are disparate and differ with respect to the types of assets covered, the rights of the fiduciary, the category of fiduciary covered, and whether death or incapacity are covered.
The Uniform Law Commission has promulgated the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which is intended to create a uniform approach among states so as to increase certainty and predictability for courts, account holders, fiduciaries and internet service providers. Many states, including Massachusetts, are considering adoption of the uniform statute. This program discussed the substance, pros, cons, evolution and controversies surrounding the statute.