More Inheritable Rights for Digital Assets

41 Rutgers L. Rec. 131 (2014) | WestLaw | LexisNexis | PDF

Death, as uncomfortable of a subject as it is for some, is a guaranteed component of human existence. Orson Welles coined the phrase “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” Creating this illusion of not being alone is manifested when heirlooms and property are passed onto loved ones and close friends when we die. The varieties of possessions that get passed on are as diverse as the reasons they are given. For some, an artifact may be left behind as a way to remember one’s heritage or possibly a possession is given to symbolize the love that existed between two people. There is no denying the psychological and emotional attachment that is affixed with objects that hold memories of loved ones who have passed on before us.

Within this frame work, lawyers use legal tools of wills, trusts and estate laws to carry out grantors or inheritors desire on how to bestow certain possessions. However, within all the complexities of bestowing property, lawyers are now increasingly being confronted with how to pass on digital assets.

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