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Delaware lets family members inherit social media accounts of deceased

A new bill signed by Delaware Governor Jack Markell will allow family members to access social media accounts of deceased relatives

By Michael Hatamoto from Aug 19, 2014 @ 20:30 CDT

Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed House Bill (HB) 345, a bill that will allow family members of the deceased to access Twitter and other social media accounts. As part of the "Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act," executors of an estate can have legal control of a social media account, in the same manner of controlling a physical asset.

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It's an interesting debate because social media accounts typically disappear when a person dies, Facebook and Twitter usually prevents access to the accounts. Facebook plans to memorialize pages of deceased members rather than delete them - and Google will delete accounts or provide access to select family members.

"But if a person dies and his will is governed by Delaware law, the representative of that person's estate would have access to the decedent's Twitter account under HB 345," said Kelly Bachman, Delaware governor's office spokeswoman, in a statement. "So the main question in determining whether HB 345 applies is not where the company having the digital account (i.e. Twitter) is incorporated or even where the person holding the digital account resides."

NEWS SOURCES:Arstechnica.com, Directory-assets.s3.amazonaws.com


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