September 8, 2014
By Andrew J. DeMaio
In July, the Uniform Laws Commission completed its work on a model act allowing executors, administrators and other fiduciaries to control digital assets. The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) is a comprehensive legislative proposal that ensures that fiduciaries have access to and the ability to manage digital assets such as social media accounts and blogs, websites, and photographs stored on cloud-based servers. However, UFADAA is not effective in a state unless enacted by the state’s legislature.
Seven states have enacted more limited statutes on access to digital assets. Legislation is being considered in many other states. A New Jersey proposal (Senate Bill 550) is modeled after narrow legislation enacted in Oklahoma.
According to published reports, efforts to enact comprehensive digital assets legislation is meeting with resistance from the technology industry. Representatives of AOL, Yahoo, Facebook and Google oppose the enactment of UFADAA because they believe it would violate the privacy of decedents and others for whom fiduciaries are acting, according to an NPR report.
Delaware recently enacted legislation based on UFADAA. The bill faced opposition from the technology industry, according to a Columbus Dispatch article.
Whether or not legislation is enacted in New Jersey, you can take steps to carry out your wishes regarding digital assets. Ask us how.