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/ 14 May 2012

Wills & Probate: Digital Inheritance

Whether it be on a Amazon Kindle, iPad or iPod, the majority of Britons have avidly accumulated a collection of videos, books and photos online.

However, such assets are rarely considered when making a will, with family heirlooms, paintings and jewelry being some of the only assets considered.

“Digital assets”, in today’s society, will undoubtedly form a valuable part of an individual’s estate and therefore it has become increasingly important to consider such assets when estate planning or drafting a will.

“Executors” or “administrators” are responsible for collecting and distributing assets. But problems may arise when dealing with digital assets with how to access on line accounts being the primary issue.

There are however, many ways in which an individual can start to plan for such assets including creating a list of their online accounts and associated passwords and storing such information with the bank or a solicitor.

It is important that when seeing a solicitor these accounts are discussed and that provisions are put in place so that they can easily be accessed in the future.

Any potential on line subscriptions of the deceased must also be taken into consideration so that an estate does not become liable for any further subscription fees.

However, it is not just the financial aspect of these accounts that hold importance. Many on line accounts have a sentimental value with many storing photographs and videos of loved ones on line. If access cannot be gained into these accounts then this information could be potentially lost.

Making provisions in your will for digital inheritance is something that can easily be discussed with your solicitor and many lawyers are now considering how to tackle digital assets.

Hanne & Co’s Private Client Department is made up of a team of solicitors with a wealth of knowledge and experience in Wills, Probate, the Administration of Estates and Trusts, Court of Protection and Lasting Power of Attorney applications. Partners, Nia Jones and Claire Martin, are members of STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners).

For a confidential discussion on any of the above please call 0207 228 0017.

By Probate Solicitor,Lydia Pilati.

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