August 30, 2012
As Lake Forest, Ill., economist Mike Moebs planned for his marriage last year, his lawyer pressed him for a complete list of assets.
Gerry Beyer, a Texas Tech University law professor who writes about estate-planning issues, said even if a person gives a power of attorney to an agent to access their digital assets, that doesn't mean that the bank, social media site or email service will accept that authority. It might take a court-appointed guardian to get access to the records, he said. One reason: The agent's authority typically ends when the person whose records are being sought dies, he said.