Digital legacy

The topic of digital legacy has been increasingly talked about in recent years and people should consider their digital assets when making a will or Lasting Power of Attorney.

Firstly, would your Executor or attorney know about your online banking, your e-mail accounts, online shopping accounts and your social networking presence such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? It is unlikely that you have hard copy bank statements for your online banking so accounts could easily be missed. Virtual currency like Bitcoin has a value which forms part of your estate and all your assets must be declared for inheritance tax purposes including digital assets.

It is recommended that you make a list of your logins and passwords for online accounts and review it regularly to ensure it remains accurate. Tell your Executor or attorney that the list exists and where it is stored, so they can access it at the appropriate time.

You can also consider if you would want your social media accounts to be closed upon your death or to remain open. However, be aware that keeping accounts open can lead to “the virtual ghost” such as automatic birthday reminders which can be distressing for friends and family. Facebook can be converted to a “commemorative” page to avoid such problems.

Consider also that you probably store your photographs on your computer these days rather than having printed pictures in albums, and you may want to ensure that your family can access these.

At Bretherton Law we can advise you on providing information about your digital assets when you make your will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Arrange an appointment with us on 01727 869293 or book online to ensure that your family have full information about your digital legacy. Please note we offer a free 20 minute consultation on Wednesdays afternoons.