Estate Planning in the Digital Age, By Philippa Pipe

Estate Planning in the Digital Age, By Philippa Pipe

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Estate Planning in the Digital Age is important. Have you thought what happens to your digital property when you die?  Digital assets can include social media accounts, digital books or music, email accounts, reward points like air miles, online shopping accounts and online banking.  You may find that without the relevant passwords to access these digital assets, your executors or those you appoint to handle your affairs may be unable to deal with them.

Think about how you would like each individual asset to be handled. 

Depending on the type of property, you may wish each asset to be treated differently.  While you may want to archive treasured photos and music or pass them on to family or friends, you may want other assets to be deleted or erased.

Consider appointing a “Digital Executor”

If you have made a will then you will have named an Executor to wind up your estate and distribute it according to your stated wishes.  It is possible that they are not so comfortable with technology or the online world and you may wish to name someone else to manage your digital assets who can work alongside your Executor and follow the wishes set out in your digital estate plan.

How can you store this information securely where your digital executor can access it?

  • With your solicitor – sensitive information could be stored with your original Will.
  • With an online storage service.
  • In a locked filing cabinet or safe.

No matter how securely you store this information, it will be necessary for those dealing with your estate to have access to it and to know your plans.  This means giving the person you trust (your digital executor) the name of your solicitor, the name of your online storage company or the location of keys or the combination to a safe.

Make it Legal

When you make or update your Will, consider specifying who your Executor should work with to settle your digital estate, specify the location of your digital asset inventory so that when the time comes your digital executor can find and access your plan.

If you would like more information about managing your digital assets, contact Philippa Pipe on p.pipe@nullwwf.co.uk or 01905 731731.