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What Happens to My Digital Assets on Death or Incapacity?

What Happens to My Digital Assets on Death or Incapacity?

February 6, 2019

Authored by: Stacie J. Rottenstreich and Karin Barkhorn

 

A recent New York case, Estate of Swezey (NYLJ, 1/17/19 at pp. 23, col. 3) highlights the confusion in the laws of many states regarding the administration and distribution of digital assets at a decedent’s death.  In this case, decedent’s executor asked Apple to turn over decedent’s photographs stored in his iTunes and iCloud account.  No provision in decedent’s Will specifically authorized the executor to access decedent’s digital account.  The Court relied on the relatively new section 13-A in the New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (“EPTL”), Administration of Digital Assets which provides for different procedures for the disclosure of electronic communications, in contrast to the digital assets.  To disclose electronic communication specific user consent is required or a specific court order for an identifiable reason.  Other digital assets, such as

Estate Tax Account Transcripts Available on IRS.gov

Estate tax transcripts can now be accessed online through the IRS website.

“The ability to access those transcripts online is a significant milestone in the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to reduce the number of estate tax closing letter requests and lessen its workload,” said Catherine Hughes, of the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy.

Before June 1, 2015, the IRS issued an estate tax closing letter for every estate tax return filed.  For returns filed on or after that date, the IRS issues a closing letter only at the request of the estate.

In Notice 2017-12, issued in January 2017, the IRS stated that in lieu of closing letters, executors, local probate courts, state tax departments, and others can request an account transcript—a computer-generated report that includes the date on which the

Bryan Cave Trusts and Estates Group Recognized as National Tier 1 Firm

Bryan Cave LLP has once again been recognized as a U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” National Tier 1 ranked firm for its work in Trusts & Estates.  Awards are determined using several criteria, including: client evaluations, peer attorney feedback, and, notably, managing partners and practice area chairs’ reviews. Congrats to the Bryan Cave Private Client Group!

Chambers Global 2018

Chambers Global 2018

February 15, 2018

Authored by: Tiffany McKenzie

Chambers & Partners has recognized London Partner, Dyke Arboneaux,  in the Chambers Global 2018 guide.

Arboneaux is ranked globally in Band 3 for her international private client work. She also is recognized as a foreign expert based in the UK for her work in the USA Tax section of the guide. The publication notes that one source praised Arboneaux’s “broad expertise and experience.”

For more information about Chambers and Partners, visit their website at www.chambersandpartners.com.