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Trisha Hall Instrumental in Enactment of Delaware Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act

On August 12, 2014, Governor Jack Markell signed into law the Delaware Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act. At his side was Trisha W. Hall of Connolly Gallagher, one of the Act’s principal drafters.

Delaware is the first state to enact comprehensive legislation of this type. Ms. Hall chaired the committee of the DSBA Estates and Trusts Section that crafted the Act. She testified before the House Technology Committee, advised the legislative sponsors and the Governor’s office on the bill, and was invited to the signing ceremony.

The Act authorizes executors, trustees, agents under powers of attorney and guardians of disabled persons to access online accounts and other digital content of the individual with whose care and assets they have been entrusted, in a way similar to the access a fiduciary has to bank, financial, tax and medical records. The individual has the power to restrict or otherwise tailor this access in a will, trust or power of attorney.

The Act also permits a trust to hold title to digital assets. For people with collections of digital photography or artwork, computer code, digital manuscripts or other digital assets, this type of “digital asset trust” may become an instrumental aspect of their estate planning, ensuring these assets and the value attached to them are managed for the benefit of their loved ones.

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