Why You Should Leave Digital Assets in Your Will
If you die without leaving any of your digital assets in your Will, your family might not be able to access your social media platforms or any of your email accounts.
In the modern world, we are seeing more and more things move away from physical, paper copies and onto digital platforms. Most of us enjoy using social media as a way of storing our memories and photos, and many of us even have paper free bank statements.
Have you thought about what might happen to all of these memories and documents when you pass away?
If not, you’re not alone. As new research by the Law Society found that a massive 93% of the people surveyed had not included any digital assets in their Will.
And only 7% of people said they fully understood what would happen to their digital assets when they die.
If you’re not sure what you should or shouldn’t leave in your Will, speak to one of our Wills and Trusts Solicitors. When you make a Will with us, you can be sure about what will happen to all of your assets, so you know that your family will be protected when you die.
What Counts as a Digital Asset?
Your digital assets include all of your online investments, such as:
- Online bank accounts, such as PayPal
- Social media, for example Facebook accounts
- Email accounts
- Virtual objects you own, such as eBooks
- Any blogs or websites in your name
- Virtual currency, e.g. Bitcoin
- Anything stored online, for example in a Drop box or on the Cloud
- Any credit you have for online sites, whether in the form of money or points
The president of the Law Society, David Greene, says, “With many social media platforms only created in the last few decades, it is all too easy to overlook your digital assets when making a will.”
And going paper-free on important documents such as bank statements has been an even more recent development in the digital world.
We know how easy it is to forget about digital assets. But as we see more important documents moving online throughout our lifetime, it’s likely that this will be even more so the case by the time we die.
The Coronavirus pandemic has also had an important role to play in how we store documents. For example, as our ways of working and communicating becomes more remote, hard copy files have become more inconvenient.
What Does This Mean for Me?
If your family can’t access your digital assets, it means they will struggle to enjoy the memories you shared together that you only saved on your social media.
And even worse still, your family won’t be able to access important information kept within your email accounts, which could delay the Probate process.
This is because after finding your Will, the first step of the Probate process is for your Executor(s) to value your Estate. Your digital assets make up a part of your Estate, as well as your physical assets. So your family may struggle to value your entire Estate if they don’t have access to all of the accounts where your assets are stored.
What You Can Do
When making a Will, it might help you to write a list of any digital assets you have – everything from email accounts to online shopping and point rewards systems. Then decide which ones you feel you want to leave to your family as a part of your Estate.
One of our expert Wills and Trusts Solicitors can help you to make sure all of your assets, both digital and physical, are in your Will. We can advise you if you’re still unsure about what you need to put into you Will.
And as the digital world is always on the move, we can help you update your Will if things on your online accounts change, such as passwords and usernames. Just call us to make a telephone appointment.
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