Who inherits my Kindle books?
I recently read a great article discussing estate planning and digital media, such as eBooks, iTunes libraries and smartphone apps. Do you really “own” these items? Can you bequeath them in a will like you could a book collection or CD collection?
According to experts, the problem with bequeathing digital books and songs you think you own is that you don’t really own them. What you own is a license to use the digital files. Specifically, Amazon and Apple grant nontransferable rights to use Kindle books or to listen to songs on iTunes, but you can’t pass them to a child or spouse.
Estate planning laws in many states haven’t caught up to technology yet. In four states (but not Georgia), laws are in place to give loved ones access to email and social network accounts after someone passes, but they don’t cover digital files like iTunes or Kindle books. Hopefully, as people spend more and more money on digital content, the law will soon catch up to technology, enabling that content to be passed on like other property.
In the meantime, call me, Sarah White, Georgia estate planning attorney, if you have any questions about digital content. I can be reached at 678-453-6490 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a free form you might wish to use for social media planning – email me and I’ll be happy to send it to you.