How to deal with digital assets in a Will
Digital assets range from digital photos, social media accounts, graphics and artwork to cryptocurrencies and documents in an icloud account.
It is becoming more and more common for people to hold lots of their assets digitally and personal representatives need to have authority to deal with those assets when somebody dies.
Digital assets are intangible assets. This means that for these assets to pass in an estate to a beneficiary a specific gift is required in the Will.
It is also really important that your executors are given the power in your Will to deal with your digital assets too. This will allow them to access email accounts and delete emails or accounts.
For social media accounts, some will allow executors to close them down and others you must nominate someone to deal with them outside of the Will. This is always worth checking. For example, with your iPhone, it is essential that under your settings and passwords section that you nominate a ‘legacy contact’ so such person can access your photos and other information held on your phone. The same applies to Facebook – you can nominate a legacy person in the settings area.
With digital assets such as cryptocurrency, the executors will need to know the unique keys and log in details in order to access them and then arrange a transfer of the investments or encash them. If they have a monetary value, executors are required to inform HMRC for probate purposes.
It is recommended that an inventory of your digital assets and their passwords is provided and held with the Will to make it easier for executors to access them when you pass away. This along with the right clause in the Will for your executors to have the power to deal with them is very important.
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