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Fiduciaries will soon have access to digital assets

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2016 | Estate Administration & Probate |

In our recap of the latest legislative session, we get to revisit a subject from last summer: digital assets. Colorado has enacted the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. It will become effective at the beginning of August.

Last summer, in our July 2nd post, we talked about Delaware leading the nation in passing the legislation. The new law should streamline the job of personal representatives when it comes to accessing online accounts.

Using “online tools” to express your wishes

The law explains when a personal representative, trustee or conservator can gain access to online accounts. It also balances the burden placed on entities such as banks, Google and Facebook.

Online tools available through certain platforms are stressed. These are provided by companies, so that people can leave directions whether or not they want accounts to be turned over to a third party. Some of these tools are:

  • The Google inactive account manager – this allows you to list a “trusted contact” who is provided with instructions for accessing your account if the account remains inactive for a significant time.
  • Facebook legacy contact – is another way to say who should manage a Facebook account after it is memorialized.

Other tools also exist to store online account passwords and direct platforms when to disclose information to a trusted person. But keep in mind that these directions may override a conflicting provision in your will, trust or power of attorney.

The act provides default instruction for various fiduciaries. We will detail these in a future post.

As more of our estates move online – consider photo, music and movie libraries – these assets should not be overlooked. When you have questions about the estate administration process, seek legal advice from an experienced estate law attorney.