/ 04 Feb 2022

What are Digital Assets in Wills?

Our Wills, Probate & Trusts team joined The Law Society’s solicitor chat this week to answer some common questions asked about digital assets in Wills.

 

Herman Cheung

Associate

Private Client

View profile
Samantha Fennah

Solicitor

Private Client

View profile

What are considered ‘digital assets’?

Digital assets only exist in electronic form and have either a monetary or sentimental value. Examples of digital assets include things like email accounts, social media profiles, digital music collections, online bank accounts and digital photographs.

What are the key issues relatives face when trying to deal with a deceased loved one’s digital assets?

Difficulty in accessing digital assets, technical control of the digital assets,  practical and procedural obstacles from the service providers. Lack of cooperation from service providers. No consistency between how different service providers deal with digital assets.

How can someone include digital assets in their will?

A Will can include provisions to deal with your digital assets. Care must be taken with what is included in a Will as it becomes a public document when the grant of probate is issued. Sensitive information such as passwords and access code may be an issue. Passwords and accounts may change regularly so it may be difficult to track or access digital assets.

What happens to your online subscriptions and digital downloads after you die? 

There is a wide variation in online subscriptions and digital downloads in their policies and practises. With some online accounts, you can nominate a legacy contact who can manage your account following your death. However, some digital assets are mere licences to use the services and so may terminate on death.

How can a solicitor help you plan your digital legacy?

A solicitor can advise you with the estate planning of your digital assets and how they can be dealt with in accordance with your wishes. They can answer your questions regarding how your digital assets are administered.

Our Wills, Probate and Trusts team offer a personal, responsive and proactive service, contact us today to find out more on +44 (0) 207 228 0017.

Get in touch
Call us on ++44 0207 228 0017