Digital assets are still a relatively new phenomenon, but it is important not to overlook them when dealing with estate planning. Online accounts can take many forms.
To name but a few:-
- Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn;
- Music libraries such as iTunes and Spotify;
- Email, online banking, PayPal, eBay, Bitcoin.
Some of these assets have a monetary value, others a sentimental one. However, in either case it is important to identify which assets are held and to leave clear instructions as to what should be done with them.
Make a list:
- The first step is to make a list of all online accounts and their logins and passwords.
- Next, store this list as a hard copy, somewhere safe, and most importantly review it regularly, say every six months.
- Make sure your Executors are aware of the list and where it is kept.
- Go through the items on the list and decide what you would like done with each asset.
- Find out what terms and conditions were agreed to when the online account was created. There may be restrictions as to what can happen to the asset on death, or it may be necessary to authorise a particular person to deal with the account when the time comes.
- Certain social networks such as Facebook may be “memorialised”. You may wish to provide written instructions to your Executors as to what you would like done in this regard.
Clients can obtain an Asset Log from our Private Client Department, which can be completed to provide information about your digital assets.
If you would like further information regarding digital assets, please contact the partner at Hunters having responsibility for your legal matters, or (for new enquiries) please contact a member of our Private Client team.