Most people are aware of the importance of making a Will to deal with physical assets. Relatively few of us, however, have probably considered what will become of our digital assets when we die.
What is a digital asset?
A digital asset is one that requires a password and username to access. For example, digitally-stored music collections, social networking sites, and online investment and banking accounts.
What to do?
It may be that dealing with your digital estate is as simple as updating your Will to include a digital assets clause. Thereafter, you should note down your passwords for safekeeping. If your Will is being held by Solicitors, it may be a sensible idea for you to provide them with a copy of this information that will be stored confidentially beside your Will. This is particularly useful if you have also appointed Solicitors as your executors.
Failure to plan for digital inheritance can cause problems as without usernames and passwords it can be very difficult for executors to access web domains, social networking sites and other online accounts. As the executors’ duty is to gather in and administer all of the assets of a deceased’s estate, it is important that they are armed with the necessary information to enable them to do so.
The challenge is therefore to keep the information up-to-date and hidden yet accessible when the time comes. It is important to remember that you should not include details of your web-based accounts, passwords and user names in your Will. This is because a Will, once proved, becomes a document of public record and therefore potentially accessible by fraudsters.
For more information, please contact us for expert and friendly advice.