Tech skills: Lawyer gives lecture in passing on digital assets after death

Insights: Lawyer Robert Harper gave a lecture on the ins and outs for trust and estate lawyers on advising their clients who want to pass on their digital assets after death.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

Brooklyn heights

An expert lawyer gave an insightful lecture to fellow legal eagles on the importance of knowing the ins and outs of passing on digital assets after death, at the Brooklyn Bar
’s headquarters on
Remsen Street on April 17.

It is more important than ever to for lawyers to know how to advise their clients on what they need to know about their online information once they themselves move on to the proverbial cloud, according to the lecturer.

“You’re giving clients information on how to best pass their assets on when they pass, so it’s good to let their clients know what their survivors should have access to,” said Robert Harper (at left), a trust and estates lawyer based on Long Island.

Digital assets come in a variety of forms, such as email and social media accounts, cloud storage, and even crypto
currency accounts.

Trust and estate lawyers should advise their clients that they need to explicitly allow their survivors to access the content of these accounts, such as the content of emails, as opposed to just a catalog of the information, in other words dates, senders, and recipients.

“If your client wishes for their survivors to have access to content, then the client needs to affirmatively grant it. If you don’t do that, their survivors may not get the access,” Harper said.

The state’s laws on these issues only came into effect in 2016, but they still have some catching up to do in order to keep pace with the high-speed technological changes, according to Harper.

“Technology has developed a lot faster than the law has, which is slowly but surely catching up,” he said.

— Kevin Duggan


Keeping the faith

Three cheers for the Bridge Multicultural Advocacy Project, which held its third annual Interfaith Unity Seder on April 14.

The ceremony brought together more than 350 people of different faiths for a night of music and dancing, said the event’s organizer.

“It’s amazing, with so much being written about rising hatred, that over 350 people came and danced away the night,” said Mark Meyer Appel (pictured, right). “People of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith, as a community comming
together in unity.”

A number of local elected officials attended the event, including Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Councilman Mathieu Eugene (D–Flatbush), and Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus (D–Coney Island).

Two city police officers, Sergeant Zagham Abbas (pictured, left) and Detective Mohamed Amen, received citations from the District Attorney for their “outstanding leadership in public service to our diverse community,” according to Appel.

Appel said the event, aimed at celebrating a community of diverse faiths, took on special meaning
this year.

“There are those from the right and the left that are politicizing hate,” he said. “But we are a community that rejects hate. We are a community of love and unity.” — Aidan Graham

Borough wide

Wiz kid

Hip, hip, hooray for Patrick McConnell, of Brooklyn, who is a member of Hamilton College’s Model UN team and attended three conferences during the spring 2019 semester, winning awards at each.

The team went to the North American Model United Nations Conference hosted by University of Toronto, the Princeton Diplomatic Invitational hosted by Princeton University, and Model United Nations hosted by The College of
William and Mary

This is the first time in the organization’s history that the team has taken awards at every conference it attended in a semester, and it is currently on a streak of four-straight conferences where Hamilton has received at least one award.

McConnell, a senior majoring in economics and government, is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Mazel Tov: Police Sergeant Zagham Abbas gets an award from District Attorney Eric Gonzalez at the April 14 Seder.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

More from Around New York