Fiduciary access to digital assets approved

Lawmakers passed a bill April 13 that determines who has access to a person’s digital assets after death.

Introduced by Omaha Sen. Burke Harr, LB829 authorizes four types of fiduciaries—executors of estates, conservators of estates, agents appointed under power of attorney and trustees—to access a person’s digital assets after they die or otherwise lose the ability to manage their own assets.

The bill creates a tiered system of priorities for handling digital assets. If the custodian—the company that stores a person’s assets on its servers—provides an online tool allowing the user to authorize another person to have access to the data, those instructions take priority.

If no such tool is available or the user chooses not to use it, a will, trust, power of attorney or other written record will be enforced. The custodian’s terms of service will determine access if neither an online tool nor a legal document applies. If none of those situations apply, the bill provides default terms that govern access.

The bill passed 49-0.

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