Who will deal with your online presence when you die?

Digital Inheritance written in white chalk on a black chalkboard isolated on white.jpg
September 2021

Writing a will for the digital age has never been more important!

What are digital assets?

Digital assets are important and can include everything from your free email and social media accounts through to your cherished family photos and important online bank accounts.  Despite the huge impact that technology has had on our lives in recent years, few people understand what happens to their digital assets upon their death or why it is important to include them in their will.

What is a digital Will?

A digital will can be defined as a legal method of protecting and bequeathing your digital assets like passwords, emails, data, etc. similar to the manner in which one would enlist and leave physical assets like property and cash for your next of kin. 

Making a plan now can prevent identity theft, save records and stop friends and relatives getting painful pop-up reminders when you’re gone.

How to make a digital will

To prevent your assets being lost, you should keep an up-to-date list of all the places where you hold accounts.  Ensure that your family is aware of these accounts and what you want done with them (for example, you may not want your Facebook page memorialised, but you do want your photo albums shared with loved ones).  It may be advisable to make sure a trusted person can log onto your computer.  Here’s a list – by no means exhaustive – of the things that may contain personal or monetary assets:

  • Computers, smartphones & tablets

  • External disks/storage devices

  • Social media accounts (e.g. Facebook, Instagram & Twitter)

  • Online storage accounts (e.g. Dropbox & OneDrive)

  • Music/streaming music accounts (e.g.  Spotify &, Apple music)

  • Photo sharing accounts (e.g. Flickr)

  • Video sharing accounts (e.g. YouTube)

  • Games/streaming games services

  • Online gambling

  • Online share dealing accounts

  • Online payment services (e.g. PayPal)

  • Cryptocurrency accounts

  • Blogging/website platforms (e.g. WordPress)

  • Online accountancy packages

  • Air miles/travel loyalty points