The State of Maine recently enacted the Maine Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, effective June 20, 2019. The Washington legislature recently amended laws related to electronic signatures, effective July 28, 2019.
MAINE LEGISLATIVE DOCUMENT 1535
The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act has been enacted in various states on which we have previously reported between September 2016 and May 2018.
The acts in each state have minor differences, but the primary focus is to define digital assets and the parties involved, which generally includes the following:
- Custodian (person that carries, maintains, processes, receives, or stores a digital asset of a user)
- Digital Asset (electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest, but does not include an underlying asset or liability unless the asset or liability is itself an electronic record)
- User (person that has an account with a custodian)
- Designated recipient (person chosen by a user using an online tool to administer digital assets of the user)
- Fiduciary (an original, additional or successor personal representative, conservator, agent or trustee).
The state enactments set forth the requirements and obligations for a custodian to provide a designated recipient or fiduciary with access to the digital assets of a user, with slight variations from state to state.
WASHINGTON HOUSE BILL 1908
The legislation repealed the state’s Electronic Authorization Act, removing any conflict with the federal ESIGN Act.
The legislation also provided a definition for “digital signature” which is an electronic signature that is a transformation of a message using an asymmetric cryptosystem such that a person who has the initial message and the signer’s public key can accurately determine whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer’s public key and initial message has been altered since the transformation was made.