Some state legislators have been working to create laws that entitle families of deceased loved ones to gain access to digital accounts, despite refusal from tech companies to cooperate. An important victory in this fight was recently won by a family, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in "Ajemian v. Yahoo! Case Update."
The case comes out of Massachusetts, where a law was enacted that allowed the personal representative of an estate to authorize access to the deceased's email account. When that was attempted in this case the email provider, Yahoo!, refused the access.
A lawsuit over the matter went to the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The family won a partial victory. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear it. As a result, the decision in Massachusetts will stand.
There is still some litigation to be completed in the case, but it is an important victory for now.