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Question of Inheritance of Digital Assets

Question of Inheritance of Digital Assets

Hungary
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As technology plays an ever-growing part in our lives, lawmakers, as well as high-tech companies have to deal with the problem of inheritance of these digital assets. The importance of these assets is demonstrated by the fact that according to notaries, they became part of succession in an increasing number. One has to pay attention to the inheritance of these accounts, since it can easily happen that heirs will not be able to access for example the deceased persons' cryptocurrency account.

Digital assets range from Facebook profiles to cryptocurrency accounts, and their most important common feature is that they are guarded with a password. A crucial aspect of the inheritance is to what extent will heirs be entitled to use the inherited asset. In the absence of proper legislation, the tech companies started to regulate this matter, however not consistently. For example, heirs could access the deceased persons' Facebook profile, without ever being able to see the previously sent messages, while Google gives full access to the heirs. The access is granted usually after the heirs provide a death certificate or other equal document.

According to dr. Tamás Parti, Vice President of the Hungarian Chamber of Civil Law Notaries, there is no harmonized response to the question regarding the fate of an invention found on a Google Drive account or the manuscript of a bestseller book. An even greater challenge is posed by cryptocurrencies as they are per definition non-regulated. He outlined that sooner or later lawmakers have to regulate this field as the owner of such digital assets became an everyday phenomenon. If one would like to ensure the proper inheritance of digital assets, that person must be forward-looking. A proper and maintained will shall be helpful.

By Levente Csengery, Partner, KCG Partners Law Firm

KCG Partners at a Glance

KCG Partners is a Hungarian business law firm providing a comprehensive range of legal services to international and local clients seeking local knowledge and global perspective. The firm comprises business-minded lawyers with sector-specific expertise, creating value for clients by applying a problem-solving approach and delivering innovative solutions.

The firm has a wealth of knowledge in corporate law, M&A, projects and construction, energy, real estate, tax, employment, litigation, privacy and forensics, securitization, estate planning and capital markets.

To address clients’ regional and international concerns, the firm maintains active working relationships with other outstanding independent law firms in Central and Eastern Europe, whilst senior counsel Mr. Blaise Pásztory brings over 40 years’ of US capital market and fund management experience.

KCG Partners Law Firm is the result of the teamwork of passionate and talented lawyers guided by the same principles and sharing the same values: 

  • Our most valuable asset is our people. They are the engine of our business and the key to our success.
  • We push boundaries by looking for innovative solutions that can empower our clients to achieve greater results.
  • We place our experience, commitment and professionalism to your service.
  • We are driven by our vision to shape and lead the Hungarian legal market and become a first choice law firm in our practice areas.

Firm's website: http://www.kcgpartners.com