Nebraska's Digital Assets Act Evolves Law with Technology - Boyum Law
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Nebraska’s Digital Assets Act Evolves Law with Technology

Rapidly advancing technology has given way to new forms of online communication and personal expression. Most people have at least one social media account: Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, if not all three. Additionally, written communication has rapidly transitioned to a digital format. Emails have replaced letters. Bank statements are now available online instead of through the mail. Consequently, the law has to evolve to keep up with technology. Nebraska Revised Statute 30-501, known as the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, places Nebraska at the forefront of the legal evolution created by technology.

So, what exactly is the Digital Assets Act?

Nebraska Revised Statute 30-501 is a law. It was signed by the governor and came into effect January 1, 2017. More specifically, Nebraska Revised Statute 30-501 is a law governing the transfer and ownership of an individual’s digital assets when they die. Digital assets are online accounts, including email, Facebook, blogs, iTunes, and other digital property.

What makes the Digital Assets Act important?

You may be wondering what’s so special about a Nebraska state law. When it comes to 30-501, the answer is a lot. Not only is 30-501 a first-of-its-kind law in Nebraska, it’s among the first of its kind in the United States. As previously mentioned, advances in technology have led to an increase in online communication and digital accounts. This has led to an increase in the amount of digital assets a person owns.

However, federal legislation saying what to do with someone’s digital assets when they die doesn’t exist yet. So, most states use the privacy policy or terms of service of social media and communication platforms to decide what to do with a deceased individual’s digital assets. Nebraska is one of twenty-five states that have created their own laws to govern the digital assets of the deceased.

How does the Digital Assets Act impact you and your family?

Nebraska Revised Statute 30-501 impacts you and your family by allowing a deceased individual’s personal representative or trustee to access and manage their digital assets. This means that you do not have to rely on an online platform’s terms of service or privacy policy to gain control of a deceased loved one’s digital assets. So, overall, Nebraska Revised Statute 30-501 makes the probate process less stressful by granting you easier access to your loved one’s online accounts.

To learn how to remove a deceased loved one’s Facebook page, read our how to blog post here.