The Atlanta Lawyer August / September 2018 - Page 28

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow (or Your Digital Assets) Jacquelyn Saylor The Saylor Law Firm, LLP jsaylor@saylorlaw.com Yesterday’s gone, and Georgia’s State Legislature has made another leap into the twenty-first century. The Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act 1 addresses critical estate planning questions that have arisen in the Digital Age. This act is an excellent step towards answering questions that people have in regards to their digital assets and electronic communications. Have you thought about what happens to one’s social media accounts when they pass away or become incapacitated or how does one ensure that a revenue producing account on content creation platforms gets passed down to my children? With proper planning, this act allows the peace of mind of knowing that your digital legacy is preserved, continued, or discontinued, as you see fit. Jaran Blessing Extern, The Saylor Law Firm LLP, Emory University School of Law, 3L jaran.r.blessing@emory.edu and electronic communications. 2 Unless specified otherwise, an agent acting under a power of attorney will have the authority to manage digital assets and review a catalogue of electronic communications. This catalogue will provide the date and recipient of every electronic communication, without providing access to the actual contents of the electronic communications, unless specified in the document. In order to exercise this authority, an agent must submit the requisite documents prescribed by the statute, to the custodian in charge of maintaining the digital assets in question. 3 2 Ga. Code Ann. §10-6B- 2(10) (2018) noting the change to the definition of “property” which now states “…and shall include digital assets and electronic A crucial aspect of the Act is that communications, as such terms it revises the general definition of are defined in Code Section 53- “property” to include digital assets 13-2.” 1 Ga. Code Ann. §53-13 3 Ga. Code Ann. §53-13-15 (2018) (2018) The Act primarily deals with fiduciaries, custodians, and their relation to the digital assets and electronic communications of individuals or estates and has very particular definitions. “Digital Asset” perhaps the most important definition, is described as “an electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest, such term shall not include an underlying asset or liability unless the asset or liability itself is an electronic record.” 4 This broad definition includes just about any electronic account or record you may have with various companies and websites. “Electronic communications” 5 are exactly what you would think they would be; transfers of data, signals, writing, etc. that 4 Ga. Code Ann. §53-13- 2(9) (2018) 5 Ga. Code Ann. §53-13- 2(11) (2018) The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association THE ATLANTA LAWYER 28