Legal systems are traditionally responsible for handling the devolution of assets following the death of a natural person (succession, inheritance). In the digital world, a universe of data relating to the deceased reverberates, managed by various providers on the basis of instructions received during the life of the subject, or on the basis of contracts undertaken specifically for the management of a post-mortem profile. Attempts are underway to “hack death” through the use of “digital afterlife” technologies which current jurisprudence and legal actors are not quite prepared to regulate. In fact, some of these web tools can evade civil law regulations, instead following culturally or religiously imposed guidelines. Indeed, in many legal systems the soul assumes its own legal dignity, especially within inheritance law. Therefore, it is necessary to find solutions that guarantee and protect the true will of the disposer, protecting his digital personhood from any potential abuse. New e-legacy techniques are spreading, such as the “digital trust,” the “post-mortem mandate”, and the designation of a ‘web successor”. The aim of those who use these tools is often to ensure their own “eternal digital life”. All of these developments represent a distinct and new challenge for law.
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