Digital Assets in your Will

Wills and Probate solicitor, Arlene, says “in the modern day, it’s becoming increasingly important to include digital assets in Wills, and knowing whether these assets belong to you, or if you only own a licence”.

Digital assets may take many forms, including that of your e-mail, on-line music, film and games purchases, your social media accounts, and forms of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. Passing on these assets is still important as, even though they do not have a physical presence, they can still carry monetary and sentimental value.

Social media organisations, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, often have services in place that assist the family members of a deceased to close an account on their behalf, but it could be much easier for you to give your loved ones access to your accounts in the first instance. Subject to the terms of use for the on-line account, those acting on your behalf may be able to freeze or delete accounts, or turn an account into a memorial platform for your peers to see.

You may be able to specify the action to be taken in respect of photographs or videos you have saved or created over time. This could include the identity of those allowed to view the content, a password for your hard drive device, and potentially any log-in details to on-line cloud services where content may be stored.

Assets such as cryptocurrency will carry real time monetary value which, in time, could benefit an individual or organisation.

Additionally, many digital assets belong to an international body, such as Luxembourg’s authority over PayPal. Therefore, this is a factor a legal professional needs to be aware of, when drafting a Will.

On the other hand, you may not own music, films, games, books, or videos downloaded to a personal device. You may only have purchased a licence to use the content rather than the rights to the item itself and this licence may not be transferrable to any other person on death.

In many cases, difficulties can be avoided by supplying appropriate information to the Executors of your will or those acting on your behalf, but if you would like legal assistance in relation to creating a will, including dealing with your digital assets, please call Churchers on 01329 822 333 for further information.

 

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