National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, June 14, 2014 [snipped from Draft]: “The purpose of this act is to vest fiduciaries with the authority to access, control, or copy digital assets and accounts. It is important to understand that the goal of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) is to remove barriers to a fiduciary’s access to electronic records and that the other law, such as fiduciary, probate, trust, banking, investment securities, and agency law remain unaffected by UFADAA. UFADAA addresses four different types of fiduciaries: personal representatives of decedents’ estates, conservators for protected persons and individuals, agents acting pursuant to a power of attorney, and trustees. The act applies only to fiduciaries that act in compliance with their fiduciary powers. It distinguishes the authority of fiduciaries, which exercise authority subject to this act only on behalf of the account holder, from any other efforts to access the digital assets. Family members or friends may seek such access, but, unless they are fiduciaries, their efforts are subject to other laws and are not covered by this act. As the number of digital assets held by the average person increases, questions surrounding the disposition of these assets upon the individual’s death or incapacity are becoming more common. Few laws exist on the rights of fiduciaries over digital assets. Few holders of digital assets and accounts consider the fate of their online presences once they are no longer able to manage their assets. And these assets have real value: according to a 2011 survey from McAfee, Intel’s security-technology unit, American consumers valued their digital assets, on average, at almost $55,000. Kelly Greene, Passing Down Digital Assets, WALL STREET JOURNAL (Aug. 31, 2012), http://goo.gl/7KAaOm. These assets range from online gaming items to photos, to digital music, to client lists. There are millions of Internet accounts that belong to dead people. Some Internet service providers have explicit policies on what will happen when an individual dies, others do not; even where these policies are included in the terms-of-service agreement, most consumers click-through these agreements.”
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