Citizens of Delaware Can Now Inherit Digital Assets, Rest of Us Stuck With Analog Estates
"To you, I bequeath all 800 of my Flappy Bird knockoffs."
Currently, all of the digital wealth you’ve built up—iTunes libraries, Steam games, Farmville micro-transaction purchases—is the property of whatever service provides that particular online account upon your passing, but a new law enacted in Delaware will allow citizens to inherit their loved ones’ digital possessions. On a related note, the top Google search term in Delaware is now “permanently delete Fifty Shades of Grey from Kindle account.”
Of course, you already inherit computers and the files on them as digital objects, but the world hasn’t gone fully DRM-free yet, so some things may be off-limits to you without access to an account.
The new law, the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act, simply and summarily awards the ownership of any online account to whoever the account-holder wishes instead of the tech company behind it. Other states have passed less comprehensive laws on the subject, but Delaware is leading the way in a comprehensive solution thanks to help from the non-profit Uniform Law Commission.
Great work, Delaware.
Now all we have to do is get the rest of the states on board, and we can end the unnecessarily complicated process currently involved in making sure your loved ones will always have access to all of your cloud-based pet and baby pictures.
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