What are digital assets? They include, but are not limited to, files; emails; documents; photographs and videos but also include assets such as reward cards, social media accounts (Facebook), online bank accounts, online payment accounts such as PayPal and bitcoin / cryptocurrency.
It is important to consider the following regarding digital assets:-
- What happens to my assets if I die or lose capacity?
- Can I pass my digital assets in my will?
- Can my attorneys or executors deal with these assets in my Lasting Power of Attorney or Will?
- How will my executor access these assets or even know they exist when I die?
Each family will have different considerations when someone dies in relation to digital assets. Some may want to access a loved one’s photograph collection or emails whilst others may need to access online assets to recover funds due to the estate. Facebook, for example allows for an account to be “Memorialized” or closed but only if the correct information is provided. Each asset holder will have their own set of terms and conditions which may restrict whether they can be passed onto loved ones when someone dies. It was reported that Bruce Willis wanted to bequeath his iTunes library to his daughters upon his death but apple music’s terms and conditions prevented him from doing so.
It is important to take advice regarding your digital assets to ensure they are protected and can be passed or recovered when needed by either your attorneys, under a Lasting Power of Attorney or executors in your will.
Here at Hewitts we have experts who can discuss your requirements and advise you on the best way to deal with your digital assets.