Digital Assets and Your Will

When it comes to writing your Will what do you think about? Many people would like to make gifts of money, possessions such a jewellery or cars and their house. Many people do not think about the assets they have that are not tangible. Digital assets can have significant value, whether this be monetary value or sentimental.

Much of the law governing Wills dates back to the Wills Act 1837, so it is no surprise that many of us do not consider including our digital assets in our Wills.

You may have Cryptocurrencies, such a bitcoin, that can be extremely valuable. More commonly you may have a Paypal or online shopping accounts. In addition to accounts holding money or value many people have at least one social media account such as Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. In addition to this many of us have photos, music and films on your phone and computers. It is important to think about what we would like to happen to these when we die.

To be able to include your digital assets in your Will it’s important to know what you have. Here are our handy tips on how to get your digital affairs in order:

  1. Make a list of your digital assets including IP addresses, any intellectual property you own, shopping accounts and social media. It is useful if you need a record of how you access these and any log in details to help your executors.
  2. Check if you can pre-authorise people to deal with your account after your death. Some providers such a google and Facebook will allow you to plan ahead and tell them what you want to happen. This can save a lot of time and hassle for your executors after you die.
  3. Name a digital executor. This is not a legally binding position but it may be useful to name someone who is computer literate and used to dealing with online accounts to handle your digital assets after you die.
  4. Decide what you want to happen to your digital assets. You may with to gift a Cryptocurrency or the points on your Tesco Clubcard, and that may be an easy decision to make. But what should happen to your social media accounts? Some sites allow for memorial pages to be set up where as others may automatically delete the account.