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Why you should include digital assets and passwords in your will

Posted on 20th May 2021 in Probate & Wills

Posted by

Sue Halfyard

Associate and Chartered Legal Executive
Why you should include digital assets and passwords in your will

The Law Society has advised that people should include digital passwords in their will to ensure executors can access vital online information.

The Law Society’s recent research has suggested that only 7% of people fully understood the importance of digital information such as passwords, social media accounts and online or Cloud-based photos after they have died. The remaining 93%, apparently, have made no such provision in their Wills or otherwise. In today’s increasingly digital environment, this can only lead to problems.

We are all aware of the need to keep our important paperwork in a safe place and make sure that our executors know where it is, but many of us do not consider access to financial assets such as PayPal or Bitcoin which may have an effect on the value of an estate, and in turn, any Inheritance tax which may be payable as a result of the additional assets.

Whilst it is still possible for executors to deal with bank accounts, shareholdings, and credit cards etc after a person’s death without knowing passwords, accounts with PayPal, Bitcoin and social media are not so easy to deal with.  You should therefore consider whether there are any digital assets for which there is no paperwork and which your chosen executors may not be able to access on death. If so, please be aware of the need to supply details and, if appropriate, passwords to them.  You should also consider how we wish our social media accounts to be dealt with, as it is now possible to add a legacy contact in some platforms.

 

How can Tozers help?

If you would like to put a Will in place and/or consider making provision for your digital assets, contact our specialist solicitors today.

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