What are digital assets?
Digital assets include a variety of different things such as social media accounts, online banking and investment accounts, cryptocurrency, and storage of sentimental items such as photographs.
What would happen to my digital assets if I die or lose capacity?
Whilst digital assets are part of your estate, the practical difficulty is that there are not usually any physical documents. So your family/attorneys/executors might not know that they exist, or how to access them.
Normally we are told not to share our login details and passwords with anyone. A further problem is that digital accounts for music, books etc are often not transferable to anyone else. However there are a variety of practical solutions to ensure that your digital assets are not lost.
What are your top tips for dealing with digital assets?
- Check the policies of the providers of your digital accounts. Different providers have different policies, for example Apple recommends that you add a Legacy Contact to your account, to authorise somebody to access your account after death.
- For social media accounts, you should consider whether you would want these to be memorialised or deleted after your death.
- Keep an up-to-date record of all digital assets and keep it somewhere safe, so your accounts can be easily accessed by your family/attorneys/executors. There are password storage apps available that you may wish to use. Bear in mind it will need to be updated periodically.
- Make a Lasting Power of Attorney including express authority for your attorneys to access your digital assets
These important steps are frequently missed; but if nobody is authorised, and your family doesn’t know what to look for and how to access it, then your digital assets could be lost.