A recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, titled “Laws Vary on Accessing Digital Assets of Deceased,” discusses how many financial advisers and estate lawyers are increasingly advising their clients to start thinking about protecting their digital estates as well as their financial assets.

The article explains that some states have passed laws that allow “executors of estates the authority to handle the decedent’s digital assets – including online accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn and email – as they would any other assets.” That’s not the case in Pennsylvania, the article reports.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Tax Shareholder E. David Margolis tells the publication that he makes sure to discuss the issue of digital assets with his clients, asking them to fill out an “information inventory,” which provides information about all of their online accounts.

“This is not something we do formally in a will. It’s for their own purposes, but some clients ask me to keep a copy,” said Margolis.

While Margolis explains that digital assets don’t necessarily come with monetary value, he says that “it’s a question of preserving access to the information.” 

Read the full article - “Laws Vary on Accessing Digital Assets of Deceased” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 6, 2015)