Estate Planning: Include Your Digital Assets In Your Will

Else Solicitors are encouraging clients to keep a record of their digital assets and account for them in their Wills.

Our Will solicitors, based in Burton on Trent, are ensuring that our clients have planned what to do with their digital assets when they pass away.

Digital assets can include social media accounts, digital books or music purchased from the likes of iTunes, email accounts, shop accounts like Amazon, and online bank accounts.

Here are some tips on how to get your digital assets in order:

1. Make A List Of All Your Digital Assets

Ask yourself what digital assets you own. Your list should include;

  • Data storage hardware like laptops, phones, tablets, music players, cameras and other devices.
  • Any data that is stored electronically. It may be stored online, in the cloud, or on hardware.
  • Any online accounts like email accounts, Skype, social media accounts, shopping accounts, photo sharing accounts, video gaming accounts, online storage accounts, and the websites and blogs you manage.
  • Any online accounts that you use to pay bills or manage your finances.
  • Any website domain names that you own.
  • Any intellectual property, copyrighted materials, trade marks, and anything else that you may have created digitally.

2. Check Access Routes To Your Digital Assets

When you have listed all of your digital assets make sure that you still have access to them.

Whilst going through this process carefully make a note of the different login details and passwords for each of your online platforms and payment accounts.

We recommend that you go through the book-marked pages on your internet browsers as this can be a great way to ensure you don’t miss any important sites.

Many of the passwords will be similar but some may vary depending on the requirements of the platform.

If you can’t access some of your accounts make sure you reset your passwords and make a note of these.

When writing your Will, our solicitors will create a secure private database of all these passwords so your loved ones will be able to easily manage your digital assets when you are gone.

3. Name A Digital Executor

You need to consider who you would want to manage your final wishes for your digital assets when you are gone.

This is not a legally binding designation, but you need to pick someone who will do what you ask and has the capability to interact with a range of online platforms.

If the executor of your estate is a little older or doesn’t get on well with computers, you will need to choose someone who can use them properly so they can execute your final wishes.

4. Decide What You Want Done With Your Digital Assets

Finally, you need to decide how you would want each of your digital assets to be handled.

For example, you may want your social networking profiles to be closed-down or you may want them to last as ‘legacy pages’. In this instance, you can assign people access to these accounts and allow them to post memorial posts.

You may want some of your business accounts transferred to business colleagues or your bill payment portals handled by your family.

It is also worth considering whether any of your accounts have monetary value. If they do, you need to decide if you want these digital assets to be sold and the proceeds transferred to your chosen recipient, or, if you would like them to be inherited and maintained.

If you would like more information on managing your digital assets, please contact our Will solicitors on 01283 526 200 or email info@elselaw.co.uk.

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