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New Proposal For Accessing Online Accounts After Death

OPB | July 28, 2014 12:06 p.m. | Updated: July 28, 2014 2:39 p.m.



Courtesy Facebook

Deciding who gets your assets after you die is a fairly standardized process, usually involving things like wills and trusts. But determining what happens to your digital assets is a far murkier issue, but that could soon change soon. The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) approved a plan this month to give fiduciaries access to the online accounts of their trustees. The ULC is national group comprised of members appointed by state governments with the goal of standardizing laws. The plan would need to be taken up by individual state legislatures to become law.

There have been several high profile cases of families engaging in protracted battles with tech companies to gain access to the accounts of their loved ones. Some privacy experts oppose the idea of forcing people to draft digital wills to stipulate who can access their online information.

Some tech companies have offered their own solutions. Facebook memorializes an account by allowing users to look at old photos and posts, while Google makes provisions for users who do not log into their accounts for a certain period of time.

Do you have a plan for your digital assets? What do you think should happen to your Facebook account after you’re gone? 


  • Victoria Blachly: Attorney at Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP
  • Jim Halpert: Attorney at DLA Piper
  • Karen Williams: Sued Facebook for access to her son’s account


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