What Are My Options If The Deceased Has Not Left A Plan For Digital Assets?

If a loved one has passed away and there is either no planning in place or the planning that is in place does not address digital assets, unfortunately the answer is that there’s not much that we can do. The terms of service in federal law are likely going to control, in which case nobody can use your username or password to get access to those accounts.

Now, with that said, that is something we can help you with here at Miller & Steiert, either through probate or just post-death administration, where we can help your loved ones get access to your accounts in the event you die and have nothing that addresses digital assets.

It’s going to be a battle, there’s no question, and it’s still a forefront issue. It’s not something that has been resolved by any means. But we can deal with that battle and we can deal with the custodians, like Facebook or Google or your online accounts through Chase, Wells Fargo, wherever they’re at. We may not be able to get the username or password, but at the very least we could try to get access to the content of that electronic communication.

For example, we want to see what emails were sent or received just to figure out is there any work that needs to be completed for my family member who died. It’s best to plan for digital assets up front. If your estate plan does not address it, you need to get it updated. That’s something we’re happy to do here for you at Miller & Steiert.

Super Lawyers
Martindale Hubbel
Best Lawyers
Legal Leaders Best Law Firm America's Top 100 Top 40 Under 40 Top 100 Trial Lawyers