Simple Is Better

Imagine the horror of a child’s suicide. Now imagine how much worse it would be as a parent being blocked from looking at the clues might help you understand why. Here’s an article that describes the experience of Ricky and Diane Rash, a Virginia couple who faced that very scenario. Their 15 year old son committed suicide, and in the aftermath, they couldn’t access his Facebook account, due to the social network’s concerns with state and federal privacy laws. The Rashes went to the Virginia state legislature for help. In response, the Virginia General Assembly adopted HP 1752. The bill allows a social media network to provide to the minor’s personal representative access to the minor’s account once it receives written notice. In the absence of the new bill, the parents would need to have an executor appointed and then petition for the release of the information. The Virginia bill streamlines the process considerably. Back in October, I posted a piece about providing for digital assets in your will. But most kids simply don’t have a will. The Virginia law seems like a sensible approach to an otherwise senseless circumstance.