Mensch: Senate Acts to Modernize Personal Asset Transfers

Harrisburg – Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) said today that the state Senate has approved legislation that would allow Pennsylvanians to transfer digital assets and property in the same manner as tangible property.

Senate Bill 320 would align Pennsylvania’s estate laws with 21st century realties, providing people a mechanism to leave digital assets to trusted friends and family upon their passing.

“When it comes to transferring digital assets and property, state law has not kept up with how we live,” said Mensch. “The photos, documents, music and other digital property we leave behind help tell the story of who we are, and this legislation will make sure they can be transferred to loved ones just as tangible property is.”

The legislation would allow music, books, videos, photos and documents stored digitally to be transferred to beneficiaries once an individual dies.  This would be done the same way tangible property is transferred: by providing instructions in a will, trust or power-of-attorney.

Currently, rules regarding the disposition of digital assets are dictated by the Terms-of-Service set by digital platforms.  When an account holder dies or otherwise loses the ability to manage their own digital assets, family or an estate executor can often be stymied in their efforts to gain access to the online accounts of the deceased.

The bill is similar to ones passed in 46 states and would allow a fiduciary to access digital property from cloud storage companies by sending a certified document proving their authority to manage these electronic assets.

The legislation has the support of Amazon, Apple, Google, the Pennsylvania Bankers Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/senatormensch, or Twitter @SenatorMensch

 

CONTACT: Mark Fetzko, mfetzko@pasen.gov, 717-787-3110