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Digital Asset Law May Be Coming To Delaware

The bill has been in the works for more than three years and has backing from the Delaware Bar Association. If approved, it would be the first comprehensive law of its kind. Seven other states grant different levels of access.

Accessing a decedent's email or other online accounts after his or her death can be extremely difficult due to privacy and licensing agreements. A provider's legal terms of service may allow the company to simply deactivate the address. Then what?

An article on the Delaware Public Media website, "Bill seeks to address digital asset issues in estate planning," says that privacy concerns are valid, but there are safeguards built in to the proposal.

People can designate assets they don't want to be included as part of their estate. While an executor of your estate might have access to your stock portfolio or bank account, they can't necessarily touch them until properly authorized. It would be the same with digital assets under this proposal in the Delaware Legislature.

The digital assets bill has been in the works for more than three years and has backing from the Delaware Bar Association. If it passes, the bill would be the first comprehensive law of its kind in the state. Seven other states grant different levels of access for digital assets.

Whether your state has this law or not, you should check with your estate planning attorney and make sure you have the proper paperwork ready so your spouse or loved ones can gain access to your information after you pass.

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