Dying Matters Awareness Week – Wills and Digital Assets

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The focus of Dying Matters Awareness Week is being in a good place to die, #InAGoodPlace.  Friday’s planned subject on their social media page is looking at digital assets. A digital asset is content that is stored digitally, something which has surged in recent years. This includes not only cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, but also online financial accounts – including paypal accounts – and email accounts as well as digitally stored photographs.  Such assets can have monetary or sentimental value and can be of equal importance to you.

With so much of lives now carried out online – a trend which has inevitably increased during the Covid pandemic – digital assets are becoming a more widespread phenomenon.  Not dealing with them risks them falling into the unclaimed pot when you die.

A survey commissioned by the Law Society found that 93% of those who have a Will have not included any digital assets in it.

Failure to leave passwords to access these accounts may mean that family are not be able to access sentimental items and important information that they may need for probate, causing increased upset and stress.  They may not even know they exist unless you tell them!

We would urge you to make a comprehensive list of all assets, including all digital assets and passwords, so that nothing is missed when you die. When setting up a Will, it is important that your solicitor is aware of all your assets so that they can advise accordingly and, importantly, how they will be dealt with upon death.  A carefully drafted Will making provision for your Executors to have access to those funds upon death and directions or discretions as to how they should be dealt with ensures they are not forgotten and pass to those you want to receive them. 

A small amount of cryptocurrency (e.g bitcoin) could be worth a considerable amount in 20 years’ time!

If you would like to set up a Will or if you already have a Will but need to amend it to include your digital assets, please do not hesitate to contact our Private Client team for specialist advice.  In the first instance, call us on 01625 614250 or email enquiries@jobling-gowler.co.uk to set up a free, no obligation, 30 minute consultation to discuss your individual circumstances.