Securing Your Digital Assets
You might think that dealing with an estate is a relatively straightforward matter, and in certain circumstances this can be the case.
However if you (or somebody else) is acting as an executors you ‘stand in the shoes’ of the deceased and are charged under the Will with the responsibility of distributing the estate assets and resolving any outstanding issues.
Have you ever thought how your executors and perhaps family or friends (if they are on hand to assist) would cope with your online accounts? This could be any one of the following:
• Supermarket loyalty points
• Airline loyalty entitlements
• Online music
• Online photographs
• Online videos
• Linked In
• Online banking
• Online gambling / gaming
And the list goes on.
Facebook - Google et al
It obviously makes great sense for this sort of information to be password protected and for those passwords to be regularly changed.
Imagine the look of horror on your executor’s face when they realise they have to deal with all of this, but have no idea what or where your passwords may be.
Simple solutions are usually the best and we would suggest that, assuming you keep a copy of your Will somewhere secure, you retain with the Will a list of the passwords and periodically make sure the list is up to date.
That one document would obviously give access to your accounts if it fell into the wrong hands, so do make sure it is secure and if ever lost the passwords are changed.
It is interesting to note also that it is now possible to appoint someone to manage your Facebook and Google accounts after you have passed away.
For Facebook this can be undertaken by following the sequence below:
Settings – Security – Legacy Contact
You can also indicate whether you would like your account permanently deleted on your death.
For Google mail the following link here will help, although do be aware that you will need to sign in to your account to make any changes.
If you are a British expat National and have yet to make a Will why not make use of our online Will Drafting Service