Digital asset protection

The changes in technology over the past couple of decades mean that people are likely to leave behind significant digital assets after they die.

Some of this digital inheritance may be important for sentimental reasons but the growth of cryptocurrencies means that some individuals may leave a digital estate of significant value.

In a traditional estate, it will be common for the executors and beneficiaries to see the objects dealt with under a Will, or to have the information necessary to access them such as bank account details and insurance policy documents.

For a digital estate, it is not so easy for assets to be traced. Digital assets, such as photos and music, will be stored on a computer and online investment accounts will be held with the relevant provider with communication only by e-mail.

Some service providers also do not permit the transmission of login details from original account holder, and to use them would possibly be an offence. Other digital assets may not in fact be owned but rather licensed from the service provider. This means that estate planning needs careful consideration more than ever.

Our Private Client team will be able to assist you in including your digital assets as part of your greater estate planning by:

  • reviewing what assets you hold and how they may be recorded and accessed after death
  • reviewing the terms and conditions of website to determine who may access your accounts
  • preparing your Will for your digital estate by including gifts of digital assets and preparing documentation for your executors
  • providing advice on tax efficiency when dealing with digital assets such as cryptocurrency
  • preparing inventories of online accounts and your wishes for whether you would like them closed after your death.

Get in touch

Liz Palmer

Liz Palmer : Partner