Traditionally, estate planning was concerned with physical assets such as houses, cars and furniture, and financial assets such as bank accounts, life insurance, stocks, and shares.
The digitalization of the world has changed that. With people handling everything from dating to storage to creating to investing online, the need for a digital aspect to estate planning is inescapable for most people. Otherwise, a lot of information and perhaps money could be lost forever to those you leave behind.
Can an executor access your digital assets?
Pennsylvania introduced the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADA) to clarify how and what executors and others in similar positions of fiduciary duty can access when someone dies.
The aim is to reduce delays so that probate can be completed more quickly and assets can make their way into the hands of those chosen by the deceased without the need for too much court intervention.
Executors automatically get access to certain digital items without needing a court order. Someone making their estate plan can also choose not to give anyone, or only certain people, access to particular items. So, if they want their Facebook account deleted on death, they can set that up through the site itself and no one can alter their choice. If they don’t want the executor or family in general to read their emails, but they do want their son to be able to, they can stipulate that in their will.
You likely have more digital assets and more digital presence than you realize. Learning more about RUFADA can help ensure that your digital assets are dealt with appropriately when you pass away.
The experienced attorneys at Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C. can help you with all of your estate planning needs, including planning for digital data – contact us today for a consultation.