From Instagram photos to online bank accounts, many of us possess valuable digital assets, but few of us have planned for what will happen to them when we die. Making a will can ensure your loved ones will not be locked out.
How to protect digital assets in your will
Have you ever thought about what will happen to your Facebook account when you die; or whether loved ones will be able to recover treasured family photographs from the cloud?
Earlier this year a Law Society survey showed that more than three quarters of respondents had no idea what happens to their digital assets when they die and why it is important to include them when they write a will.
Technology is a huge part of modern life – in this day and age, photos, emails from loved ones and social media accounts are often as cherished as physical possessions. The growing trend for investments in digital collectables and so-called non-fungible tokens – files that certify who owns photos, videos and other online media – as well as in-game and cryptocurrencies, means our digital accounts may also contain significant monetary value.
Whether it’s family snaps on your phone or an online bank account, they all need to be considered in a digital will – and yet few people plan for the future of their digital assets or know why it is important to include them in their will.
According to the Law Society survey on digital assets, only 7% of those surveyed said they fully understood what would happen to their digital assets after their death, with a further 19% saying they somewhat understand. The vast majority – 93% – of those who had already made a will failed to include their wishes for their digital assets.
This can leave family members unable to access family photos saved on the deceased’s online accounts or close their loved one’s social media accounts; they might also be unaware of financial assets held in online accounts – information they might need for probate. Making a will, including details of passwords for online accounts and services, will mean your loved ones will not be locked out.
At Hamers, our wills and probate solicitors have the qualifications, experience and understanding to ensure that your will is legally valid, includes both physical and digital assets, and is tailored to your needs. Taking this simple step will ensure that your estate will be inherited exactly as you wish and prevent loved ones having to deal with untimely problems when they are grieving.
If you need advice in respect of your will contact one of our specialists on 01482 326666.
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