New Delaware Law Grants Families Access To Your Digital Afterlife


(PCM) As we become a more and more technology driven society, the family’s of deceased loved ones are often left with the question of how to deal with that person’s digital affairs, not just their physical ones. There has been a ton of grey area when dealing with the legality of an individuals digital life such as access to social networks, gaming, email accounts and other online activities.

A non-profit called Uniform Law Commission has been on a mission to urge many states in the country to adopt a broad universal law that would grant a person’s heirs the legal right to their digital assets. Last week, Delaware became the first state to pass such a law and it is the ULC’s hope that more states will soon follow.

The Delaware law, House Bill (HB) 345, signed last week, states that: “[a] fiduciary with authority over digital assets or digital accounts of an account holder under this chapter shall have the same access as the account holder,” including under “any end user license agreement.”

What this means is that the heirs will have the same access as the deceased and any digital effect they may have left behind will be treated exactly the same as physical documents, no matter where they happened to be stored.

Thus far the law only applies to those individuals who have lived and died in Delaware, but there are definitely other states who are seriously considering passing similar laws.


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