Take steps now to ensure your online presence is managed appropriately after death. Digital assets do not have an expiry date. The question of who should have post-mortem access to digital assets is of particular importance in the context of estate planning and management. Dealing with digital assets may not be as simple as leaving login details with a third party. Sensitive information left in the wrong hands could lead to disastrous consequences.
Executors may have legitimate reasons for seeking access to digital assets, including:
- online banking accounts which can hold vital information such as account and credit card details for proper administration of the estate;
- Paypal and Ebay accounts which may contain funds of significant value that the executor must collect for distribution; and
- online photo accounts that might hold sentimental value and will be memoirs for family members.
- When making a will, you should consider:
- making a list of your digital assets and online accounts;
- making a record of user names and passwords to each account, including answers to any security questions (ideally, this should be kept separately from your will);
- giving your executors access to some or all of your digital assets which refer to where the full list and password information can be found; and
- how you want your digital assets to be dealt with, for example, whether you want family members reading your personal emails or accessing other personal information, or simply deleting all online accounts.
Contact Foulsham & Geddes about making a will now.