The COVID pandemic has accelerated our digital footprint for most of society. If you own a computer or smartphone you will more than likely have a digital asset.
When making your Will or Lasting Power of Attorney it is important to consider digital asset management. Often, only you will be aware of their existence.
Digital Assets have significant financial value, which could include funds held in Paypal, Bitcoin, blog or vlog and the rights/revenues. They may also include Social Media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) or files backed up onto a cloud.
They may also refer to digital records of sentimental value that are stored on a computer hard drive, for example Photographs, Videos and Sound recordings.
With your Will there is a possibility of drafting a Memorandum of Wishes which ensures all Digital Assets are accounted for. For example, copy all digital photographs to all children, delete Facebook account or memorialise it.
If you are an influencer, we would advise getting a digital manager who may be an IT professional.
Please note: Apple and Kindle library’s cannot be transferred, it terminates on death.
This includes Intellectual Property Rights associated with Patents, Copyright, Trademarks and Contractual Rights such as those associated with Cloud Service Providers, Online Storage, Email, Financial Service Accounts, Web Hosting, Blogs, Vlogs, and Podcasts.
These rights can be given in a Will, given in a Lifetime Gift or settled on a Trust.
The demand for Cryptocurrencies is likely to keep growing and they must be treated as any other investment. The decentralisation and anonymity is making it harder to locate if not referred to in the will or with the memorandum. Access to currencies are controlled by knowing the access/keycode.
In the case of Matthew Moody, who died in 2013, his family are still trying to locate the private keys needed to access the funds which could be worth a considerable amount of money. Matthew Moody’s father has spoken out on the issue of Cryptocurrency Inheritance
“Young People need to be better educated about the steps needed to be taken to ensure their investments are properly secured, both for themselves and for future heirs”.
This is an automated method of estate planning which involves a computer program. It works by emailing you and If no response is received within the specified period, it will check death certificate records. In the event of your death, it will send an email to your nominated trusted person saying where the passwords/usernames can be found.
Also, in 2013, Google introduced the Inactive Account Manager (IAM). This was the first in-service solution to address the issue of the transmission of digital assets on death. IAM enables users to share ‘parts of their account data or to notify someone if they’ve been inactive for a certain period of time’.
When writing a will with FFLEGAL services we have a questionnaire to give to our clients to assess the extent of their digital assets. We recommend you should create a hard copy list of locations/logins for your executors, to only be opened on the event of your death which you would store safely.
Please contact our office on 0115 939 3360 to make a Will or Lasting Powers of Attorney.