Passing on your online accounts after you die - FOX 13 News

Passing on your online accounts after you die

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Your Facebook page or email could soon be passed on in a will just like physical property. Delaware is the first state to allow heirs access to their loved ones' digital legacies.

Pedram Tabibi, a social media attorney, says in many cases this can be vital information, like banking and health data. He says current terms and conditions for websites such as Apple, Amazon, and Google won't let an account get passed onto someone else.

For example right now, Facebook does not allow anyone to log into a memorialized account. It becomes locked so no one can make changes to the existing content. (But an immediate family member can request that Facebook delete the account.)

Now that will change in Delaware, but there are some red flags.

"If the person went to the trouble of putting a password on the account, chances are they may not have wanted you to gain access to that type of information," Tabibi says. "The privacy rights of third parties is an issue here. You could be gaining access, or your heirs could be gaining access to other people's confidential information by gaining access to yours."

This new Delaware law will kick in January 1, 2015.

So what about New York? Lawmakers in Albany tried to pass similar legislation about a year ago.

Now a number of states are expected to follow in Delaware's footsteps and create laws that will protect people's digital assets.

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