The Digital Death Conundrum: How Federal and ... - University of Miami

Feb 14, 2014 - \\jciprod01\productn\M\MIA\68-2\MIA206.txt unknown. Seq: 1 ..... E.g., Oliver Chiang, Meet the Man Who Just Made a Half Million from the Sale of Virtual ..... Thus, an account holder's home computer, laptop, notepad, and.
139KB Sizes 1 Downloads 123 Views
\\jciprod01\productn\M\MIA\68-2\MIA206.txt

unknown

Seq: 1

14-FEB-14

9:13

The Digital Death Conundrum: How Federal and State Laws Prevent Fiduciaries from Managing Digital Property JAMES D. LAMM, CHRISTINA L. KUNZ, DAMIEN A. RIEHL & PETER JOHN RADEMACHER1 I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . II. DIGITAL PROPERTY: INTANGIBLE, BUT IMPORTANT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. What Is Digital Property? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. Why Digital Property Should Not Be Overlooked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. FINANCIAL VALUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. SENTIMENTAL VALUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . III. FOUR FIDUCIARIES AND A LOT OF PROBLEMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. Four Bodies of Fiduciary Law Facing Similar Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. BASIC STRUCTURE OF STATUTORY POWER OF ATTORNEY . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. BASIC STRUCTURE OF CONSERVATORSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. BASIC STRUCTURE OF PROBATE ADMINISTRATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. BASIC STRUCTURE OF TRUSTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. Presenting the Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. RESTRICTIONS ON ACCOUNT HOLDERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. RESTRICTIONS ON THE FIDUCIARIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3. RESTRICTIONS ON DIGITAL SERVICE PROVIDERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IV. PURPORTED SOLUTIONS AND THEIR SHORTCOMINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. Private Entities Promoting Private or Commercial Planning Strategies . . . B. State Protection of Fiduciaries in Digital Property Management . . . . . . . . . V. A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO RESOLUTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. Congressional Amendments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B. Uniform State Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C. Best Practices in the Interim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. HOW ACCOUNT HOLDERS SHOULD PLAN FOR DEATH OR INCAPACITY . . 2. HOW FIDUCIARIES SHOULD MANAGE PROPERTY WHEN NO PLAN EXISTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VI. CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I.

385 388 388 389 389 390 391 391 391 393 394 396 397 399 399 403 406 406 411 412 413 414 416 416

R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R

419 420

R R

INTRODUCTION

The digital world is a popular place these days. In its fourth quarter of 2012, Facebook reported 618 million daily users.2 In fiscal year 2012, Google reported 235 million active users across its properties (e.g., 1. James D. Lamm is a Principal at Gray Plant Mooty in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Christina L. Kunz is a Professor Emerita at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Damien A. Riehl is an Associate at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Peter John Rademacher is a law student at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and will receive his Juris Doctor in May 2014. 2. Investor Relations: Facebook Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Results, FACEBOOK (Jan. 30, 2013), http://investor.fb.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=736911.

385

\\jciprod01\productn\M\MIA\68-2\MIA206.txt

386

unknown