Virginia and Digital Assets: Our own Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

As anyone that has been a fiduciary can tell you, getting into a principal’s digital assets (whether it be email, accounts, or social media platforms) can at times be a challenge.  For Virginia residents, the good news is that Virginia has addressed this issue.  For documents created or for fiduciaries appointed on or after July 1st of 2017, Virginia has updated its legal position on digital assets.  While a power of attorney will often grant similar access, Virginia Code sections  §§ 64.2-116 through 64.2-132 outline when a fiduciary will be granted access and control to a principals digital assets.

Digital Assets are defined as an electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest.  A fiduciary means an original, additional, or successor personal representative, conservator, guardian, agent, or trustee.  In other words, an Executor or Administrator of a probate or administrative estate, a Conservator or Guardian appointed by a court, a Power of Attorney or a Trustee to a Trust document.

Whereas these powers were already granted to Executors and Administrators, this Act greatly broadens this area of law to include power of attorneys, conservators, guardians and trustees for documents signed after July 1, 2017.  This act should help Virginia fiduciaries better complete their role as an agent for the principal.

Should you have any questions regarding digital assets or whether your current documents (power of attorney, will, trust, guardianship or conserveratorship order, etc.) protects you, contact our attorneys to set up an initial consultation at 804.423.1382.