California Enacts Digital Assets Legislation

DigitalassetsCalifornia’s 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.

Reference: The Recorder (Sept. 26, 2016) “Digital Assets Bill Gets Governor's Signature”


Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment


We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.