Who May Have Access To My Digital Assets?

Who can have access to your digital assets? If you become incapacitated, you’re in the hospital, you’ve been in a car accident, and you’re unconscious, and we need to get access to your Facebook to let people know, your friends, your family, that you don’t have contact information for.  If you want to get access to Facebook, the Power of Attorney must specifically state that your agent, in that document, has the right or ability to get access to that account. So that would be the first person who would have access.

The second individual would be a trustee of a trust. The trustee may be able to get access to those online accounts. Those online assets. Again, just like a Power of Attorney, the trust must specifically state that the trustee can in fact get access.

A conservator of somebody’s estate may also get access to digital assets. The process that works is the court order appointing the money manager, or the conservator, would need to specifically state that that conservator can get access to those online accounts.

Traditionally thought of individuals that would represent you would be personal representative. So that’s an individual in a Last Will and Testament, who manages your affairs when you die. They also can get access to these accounts, so long as the will specifically states that they have the authority to get access to those digital assets.

If you live in this world you probably have at least some form of digital life. Whether it’s just an email account, or a smart phone. Then you really should look at designating, in your documents, who is to have access. At Miller and Steiert, the estate planning attorneys here know that these are important assets. Should you feel the need to update your estate plan to include those assets, in either of the Powers of Attorney, in the trust or in the will, please give us a call.

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