Michels, Hartung and Millard, ‘Digital Assets: A Call To Action’

Digital assets – such as social media accounts, emails, crypto-assets and photographs – are an increasingly important part of people’s lives. But what happens to these assets when someone dies or is incapacitated? Are families able to access them? The Cloud Legal Project worked with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners to survey 500+ estate practitioners. The survey asked practitioners about their experiences with clients’ digital assets. We found that there are difficulties involved in obtaining access to digital assets on death or incapacity. These difficulties include a lack of clarity around property rights and a lack of cooperation from cloud service providers. Given the sentimental and monetary value such assets can hold, we believe families deserve better. To resolve these problems, we call for improved legislation, more awareness for both estate practitioners and clients, and better cooperation with cloud service providers.

Michels, Johan David and Hartung, Sharon and Millard, Christopher, Digital Assets: A Call To Action (September 21, 2021).

First posted 2021-09-27 14:00:12

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