Legal Articles, Estate

Storage of Wills in Safety Deposit Boxes and the Havoc That Can be Caused

A blog post about one of the biggest NO-NOs in estate planning: storing your will in a safety deposit box. This post explains why you should never do that.

Peace On Earth … and of Mind

Peace On Earth … and of Mind

Florida Domicile Benefits and Steps

The Benefits of Being Domiciled and the Steps to Become Domiciled in Florida.

Yearend Clean Up

DAUNTING? NOT REALLY

Gifts and Capital Gains Taxes

Gifts and Capital Gains Taxes

Don't Give Them The House

Don't Give Them The House

YOUR COMPUTER MAY BE EVIDENCE IN A WILL CONTEST CASE

On August 9, 2016, a New York Surrogate’s Court entered an order requiring an attorney, who had drafted a decedent’s Last Will & Testament which was now the subject of litigation, to produce his computer during discovery.

YOUR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES RIGHTS TO YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS

In Ajemian v. Yahoo!, Inc., (Mass., No. SJC-12237, Oct. 16, 2017) the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court addressed the issue of whether the personal representative of a decedent’s estate was entitled to access their email account. Yahoo had refused to provide the personal representative with access to the account and the estate was subsequently forced to commence a declaratory judgment action to gain the access it sought. In reliance on the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) , 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq., which prohibits unauthorized third parties from accessing communications stored by service providers, the matter was initially decided by the Probate and Family Court Judge by summary judgment. The personal representatives then appealed the ruling. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reviewed the issue, reversed the lower court ruling and found that the SCA did not prohibit the personal representatives, who stepped into the shoes of the decedent, from accessing the decedent’s emails since the personal representatives consented to the disclosure on the decedent's behalf and granted them unrestricted account access.

The Florida Land Trust

Florida Land Trust

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