Great question. Until recently, you couldn’t access a social media account without a login and password for each account. That is changing, and many of the social media sites have their own rules about accessing your account if you are incapacitated or after you die. But the rules are inconsistent.
To remedy this issue, the Michigan legislature just passed what is known as the “Fiduciary Access to Digital Access Act” (known as FADAA), which goes into effect June 27, 2016. The goals of the new law are to (a) allow you to name a person to be in charge of your social media information if you are incapacitated or after you are gone; (b) allow surviving family members to access social media information without a long wait; and (c) allow your digital assets to be maintained (or disposed of) in accordance with your preferences. What is the catch? You must create an estate plan and put these preferences in writing.
If you are interested in how to set up a fiduciary for your social media accounts, please contact me at [email protected] or call (517) 548-7400.
Monika N. Burrell is an attorney with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. She focuses on estate planning, elder law, senior Veterans’ benefits, probate and trust administration. Visit us at www.MichiganEstatePlans.com. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.