Tag Archives: Wills

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

UFADAA makes estate planning for digital assets a little easier

Thanks to the Uniform Law Commission, (an US National Non profit/Non partisan organization that supplies “ready to go” legislation) comprehensive provisions are now available relating to Digital Assets.  That should help make estate planning for digital assets a little easier going forward if it’s utilized by individuals US states.

The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA) makes legislating digital inheritances easier and can alleviate the burden and the heartbreak that can come when families are unable to access simple things like digital photos or messages from loved ones that have passed away. The purpose of UFADAA is to vest fiduciaries (executors, guardians, agents powers of attorneys etc.) with the authority to access, control, or copy digital assets, while respecting the privacy and intent of the account holder.

The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act 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.  

The State of Delaware has taken the lead already and became the first US State to enact such legislation by enacting the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act this past week. It gives the account holder the power to decide what happens to his or her digital assets in the same way they do for physical or financial assets. At present, that power lies with the tech and media companies in control of the assets. 

There is hope that all 50 states will adopt the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act so that access to content will be honoured in the way that the user would wish. The Act can be referenced here :  UFADAA-7-17-2014

In the meantime, Google does provide a tool to help users deal with the problem which they have called Inactive Account Manager . You can also keep up to date with any progress or changes by way of a blog we discovered authored by well-known US estate planning lawyer James D. Lamm. His blog is called digitalpassing.com

Unfortunately, it seems there is no such update on What Canada is doing on this subject (Sorry).

More work required on Estate Planning

New Survey: Same sad stats on Estate Planning & Wills

Different year: Same sad stats on Estate Planning & Wills 

PWC’s Employee Financial Wellness Survey tracks the financial & retirement well being of working adults across the US. For 2014, the survey included 2,100 full-time employees between the ages of 21-32(Gen Y), 33-53(Gen X) and 54-71(Baby Boomers)

With reference to Estate Planning, the survey showed that there is very little progress being made:

Overall, only 40% of employees have a will. This compares to 41% in 2013 & 37% in 2012. The % of those who have a will increases with age, only 51% of those age 55 to 64, have a will.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Baby Boomers (59%),
  • Gen X (31%)
  • Gen Y (20%)

Of those employees who have a will,:

  • 66% say they have reviewed it and made any necessary updates within the last 5 years.
  • 34% of employees have a living will.
  • 29% have a durable power of attorney for financial matters and 30% for healthcare matters.
  • 75% indicate that their beneficiary forms are up-to-date

Read more of the survey results from PWC’s survey here 

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