In today’s digital age, our online presence often outlives us. As technology advances, it becomes increasingly important to consider how to protect privacy and respect the wishes of the deceased when it comes to their digital assets. Hi, I’m Ryan Comstock, a probate realtor in Tucson, AZ, and I’m here to shed light on this crucial topic.

Many software platforms now offer features to facilitate access to a deceased person’s account. For instance, Apple Legacy enables users to designate someone to access their account after they pass away. Additionally, individuals are increasingly including an “In Case of Emergency” document in their estate plans. While not a legally binding document, it serves as a repository for essential information such as personal and family details, passwords, and other pertinent information.

However, gaining access to someone else’s digital information raises ethical and legal considerations. It’s essential to understand that just because you can access their digital wealth, it doesn’t mean it becomes your property. All digital assets belong to the deceased’s estate and must be distributed according to their will or intestate laws if there is no will in place.

Transparency is key when dealing with digital assets during probate proceedings. Executors must maintain accurate records of all digital assets and provide beneficiaries with information about the contents of each account. Failure to handle digital assets legally and ethically can lead to disputes and delays in the probate process.

That’s where the expertise of a probate attorney comes in. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that you navigate the legal and ethical complexities of managing and closing a deceased person’s digital accounts. From understanding the relevant laws to addressing potential challenges from beneficiaries, a probate attorney can provide invaluable guidance every step of the way.


In conclusion, protecting privacy and respecting wishes extend beyond the physical realm into the digital domain. By understanding the legal and ethical obligations surrounding digital assets, we can ensure that the wishes of the deceased are honored, and their privacy is preserved. If you’re navigating the probate process and need assistance with managing digital assets, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified probate attorney. Together, we can uphold the integrity of the probate process while honoring the legacy of our loved ones.