During estate planning, don’t forget your digital assets!!!

Take a look at this article we came across about a Canadian widow who was denied access to her deceased husband’s Apple account absent a court order!

When Peggy Bush requested her husband’s Apple ID, she was told she must provide a copy of his death certificate, his will and a COURT ORDER requiring the disclosure of the requested information. After intervention from the Go Public unit of CBC News, Apple finally relented on the court order and turned over the Apple ID. According to Canadian attorney Daniel Nelson, the laws of online digital asset distribution remain unclear and service providers set the terms of access for online digital accounts.

Unfortunately, Canadian laws aren’t the only ones that remain unclear on this issue. To date, Michigan has not codified the specific rights and duties of a personal representative to access, transfer or terminate online digital assets either! However, there is a bill pending in the legislature. The bill would provide a personal representative the power to “take control of, conduct, continue, or terminate any accounts of the decedent on any social networking website, any microblogging or short message service website, or any electronic mail service website.”

Hopefully this area of law is settled sooner than later to avoid situations like the one Peggy Bush found herself in. In the meantime, it is important to consult an estate planning attorney regarding all of your property: personal, real, and DIGITAL! Questions or concerns? Contact C&G today!

Check the article out by clicking here !

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