Technology plays a huge part in the modern world, with many aspects of our lives now ‘virtual’ and although many of these things may not be considered ‘assets’ in the traditional sense, they are still an important part of any persons Estate and will need to be dealt with following death.
Photographs and family videos are downloaded onto social media sites rather than physically stashed away at home. We purchase goods electronically via the internet instead of visiting the High Street and we maintain our social lives through Facebook and Instagram… however, most of us give little consideration to what will happen to our ‘digital assets’ when we pass away.
This definition covers a broad range of things; from email, social media and online bank accounts, to computer games, music and movie downloads. Some are capable of being gifted to beneficiaries and some are not.
“Consider; if you were to die tomorrow, would your family be able to piece together your digital legacy? Would they have all the information they need to locate and deal with your digital assets? Would they know who you wanted to give different assets to?” said Private Client Solicitor Joanne Jones.
In April 2014, the Law Society urged us all to consider leaving a ‘digital legacy’ – a clear set of instructions outlining what should happen to our digital assets when we die. They recommend keeping a secure log of all account details and passwords which your executors can access after your death.
“Perhaps the best way to make your wishes known, whilst ensuring sensitive information is kept secure until needed, is to leave clear instructions in your Will,” added Joanne.
“This way, you can elect who should benefit from digital assets capable of being gifted, whilst ensuring important personal details are not made available until the appropriate time.”
For information on your digital legacy and making a Will contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers LLP or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.