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Your Digital Footprint After Death

A new Washington law, effective June 9, 2016, sets out the procedure for accessing your digital assets by a fiduciary after you die or become mentally incapacitated.

Digital assets are a person's digital property and electronic communications.

With the shift from hard copy paper documents towards electronic files stored in the Cloud, estate planning should provide for the disposition or deletion of digital assets after the death or incapacitation of the owner of such assets.

When a fiduciary wishes to access a user's online accounts, the fiduciary should first look to the terms of service agreement of the internet provider, then look to see if the user used an online tool of the internet provide, and then look to see if the user left any written directions for the disposition of such assets in a Will, Trust, Power of Attorney, or other written record. If none of the foregoing applies, the default rules of the new law will apply.

Attorney Dan Marsh will make a presentation on the new law on June 16, 2016, at 1 pm at the Firstenburg Center, A $1 fee will be charged by the Firstenburg Center.