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Victoria Blachly Featured on OPB

SYK Partner Victoria Blachly recently appeared on OPB’s Think Out Loud radio program to discuss online accounts and other digital assets — and what happens to these online legacies after we die. 

Even though conventional, off-line assets are handled through relatively straightforward channels such as wills and trusts, determining what happens to digital assets has been a much more complex issue. For example, online accounts contain data and other assets that are valuable to those we leave behind, but these accounts aren’t easy for our loved ones to legally access. 

However, that may soon change, due to the efforts of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) and its Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. The ULC approved a plan in late July to give fiduciaries access to the online accounts of their trustees. The ULC is national group comprised of members appointed by state governments with the goal of standardizing laws. The plan would need to be taken up by individual state legislatures to become law.

Victoria has been serving as an appointed observer for the ULC’s study group examining the national issue of access to digital information. In addition, she served as Chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Virtual Assets Work Group, leading the development of a legislative proposal to clarify that a personal representative, trustee, or conservator has the legal authority to access online information (Facebook, Twitter, online banking) when a loved one dies or becomes incapacitated. 

Click here to listen to this episode of Think Out Loud online.