Assembly Bill 691 will create a three-tiered approach when designating who has the authority to access the online data of a deceased user.
The law will default initially to any intent expressed by the user via an online tool. If there is none, fiduciaries and data-holding companies would consider any direction left in a will. Finally, if the decedent provides no guidance in either of those two locations, the individual site’s terms of service will be controlling.
The Recorder’s recent article, “Digital Assets Bill Gets Governor's Signature,” reports that the new law is a stricter version of model legislation, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.
The 2014 guidance was updated last year. It has been used as a template for similar laws in 11 states. Digital asset legislation has been introduced in more than 18 other states, according to the Legislature and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The bill received strong support from social media and search companies such as Facebook, Google, and Yahoo, along with other data-holding companies and tech trade associations.
AB 691 and companion legislation, which was also signed by Brown last week, offer liability protections for companies that comply in good faith with the data-handling provisions—the only exceptions are in cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct.
However, AB 691 was opposed by civil liberties and privacy groups. The detractors believed the broad grant of immunity is overreaching. The bill’s opponents also argued that an online tool should not be given precedence over a decedent's will, power of attorney or other legal documents.
Do you live in South Florida? Have you considered your social media and online accounts like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, iTunes, iCloud and other digital assets in your estate plan? Call me (305-443-3104) right away for peace of mind. I can help!
- I'm an exceptionally experienced Florida Bar Board Certified Estate Planning Attorney,
- I'm a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, focusing on ALL legal issues related to aging,
- have prepared over 4,000 estate plans in 30+ years in practice,
- have administered over 600 estates through Probate, and
- am a Certified Financial Planner Professional™, plus
- I am also a Florida Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Of course, if you would like more information about General Estate Planning in South Florida, I have a very informative website you are welcome to visit for more information.
Reference: The Recorder (Sept. 26, 2016) “Digital Assets Bill Gets Governor's Signature”