Dealing with an estate can be complex and time consuming for executors. While physical assets (bank accounts, property etc.) can be easy to locate and can then be dealt with accordingly, what about digital assets?
Digital assets come in many forms from a Facebook account, which will have no monetary value but the sentimental value will be high in the form of photos, to crypto currency which may have significant value.
With the need for tight security around these assets against online fraud and hacking, usually in the form of passwords and memorable data, how do you ensure that in the event of your death your executors are able to access these accounts to deal with them as necessary?
You could have a list of passwords / memorable data stored with your will. This would potentially work but you would have to contact your solicitor, assuming that your will is held by them, each time you changed your password.
You could have a note of such information in a notebook kept securely in a safe and this is a viable option, as long as your executor can access the safe where the data is kept.
You need to consider what online presence, in the forms of accounts do you have? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat? What happens to these accounts when you die, how can your executors deal with these?
Most of the above platforms provide policies and tools for dealing with the accounts on death, and it may be worth familiarising yourself with these so that any decisions that need to be made can be made by you during your lifetime.
I recently came across the Digital Legacy Association who have a very useful website which includes social media guides covering how you can manage your account, both in lifetime and on death. I found it quite interesting and I think it is worth a read.
Currently, there is no easy solution to dealing with digital assets but being aware of the issues and making decisions about them during your lifetime will certainly assist your executors and loved ones.