SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law tech-backed legislation providing a road map for handling the emails, social media accounts and other digital assets of the dead.

AB 691 will create a three-tiered system for determining who can access online data left behind by a deceased user. The law will first look to any intent expressed by the user via an online tool. If no such tool was used, fiduciaries and data-holding companies will consider any direction left in a will. And if the decedent provided no guidance in either of those two places, individual sites’ terms of service will take precedence.

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