• SxSW 2016: Everybody Dies: What Is Your Digital Legacy? Friday, March 11 @ 5pm

    Everybody Dies: What Is Your Digital Legacy? SxSW 2016 Panel with Alethea Lange, Dr. John Troyer (from Death Ref!), Megan Yip, and Vanessa Callison-Burch Friday,…

  • Day 19: Digital Death Bill Marches Onward

    Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Approved
    A new act approved today by a national law group provides comprehensive provisions governing access to digital assets. The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) was approved by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) at its 123rd Annual Meeting in Seattle
    Uniform Law Commission Press Release (July 16, 2014)

    The Death Reference Desk has been so busy this week with all things assisted dying that we missed an important development in the digital death world.

    Earlier this week, the Uniform Law Commission approved a new model law that allows access to digital assets, i.e., photos, documents, social media accounts, etc., by a person other than the original owner if an executor is named.

    The ULC develops proposed legislation for potential use by all 50 US States. This particular bill is important for anyone thinking about who or whom will have access to your digital files, assets, properties, e-mails, photos, etc., after you die.

    We’ve only got the press release to work from right now, which isn’t ideal, but there will more to come about the ULC’s approval.

    The approved bill is summed up this way:

    In the modern world, digital assets have largely replaced tangible ones. Documents are stored in electronic files rather than in file cabinets. Photographs are uploaded to web sites rather than printed on paper. However, the laws governing fiduciary access to these digital assets are in need of an update.

     

    The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act [UFADAA] solves the problem using the concept of “media neutrality.” If a fiduciary would have access to a tangible asset, that fiduciary will also have access to a similar type of digital asset. UFADAA governs four common types of fiduciaries: personal representatives of a deceased person’s estate; guardians or conservators of a protected person’s estate; agents under a power of attorney; and trustees.

    But don’t worry, if you want to hide embarrassing e-mail messages or make sure that no one knows about your online shenanigans (we’re not judging) then this proposed legislation covers those situations too.

    Just remember: if you don’t want the kids to know about it, then don’t do it online.

    You can read the bill here.

    Unless, of course, we’re all just living in a digital simulation.

    Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Approved A new act approved today by a national law group provides comprehensive provisions governing access to digital…

  • Live and Let Social Media Die

    Government Advises Americans to Create ‘Social Media Will’ to Handle Facebook, Twitter, Email Accounts After Death Meena Hart Duerson, New York Daily News (May 7,…

  • Poor Dead Steve Jobs May Not Own His Dead Image

    Who Owns Your Image After You Die? On the Media (January 13, 2012) Here’s a really interesting radio story by WNYC’s On the Media about…

  • Inventing the Future of Death

    Recent design school graduate Jake Shapiro of New York shared his thesis project with us: “The Future of Death” examines how our internet and social…

  • Digital Death Day! (Is Every Day)

    Virtual Life after Death Peregrine Andrews, BBC News (May 22, 2010) Last week, May 20th, was the first Digital Death Day, an unconference in California…

  • This is What It Sounds Like When Avatars Die…

    Virtual Estates Lead to Real-World Headaches Chris V. Nicholson, The New York Times (November 02, 2009) I am not an online gamer so I don’t…

  • The Cyber Cemetery: Where Government Websites Go to Die

  • Death 2.0h noes!

    Digital Immortality and Death 2.0 Scott Lachut, PSFK (August 7, 2009) From one’s Etsy shop to a Facebook profile to a mega-sweet World of Warcraft…

  • Death’s Not Dead! Leastwise Not Online

    Dying is no reason to give up online social life Richard Mullins, Tampa Tribune (May 26, 2009) In this AP article, Mullins gives a snapshot…