Don’t overlook your online assets

There is an increasing emphasis on people making sure that they take their “digital assets” into consideration when drafting a Will.

Carter Lemon Camerons’ Private Client Partner Ian West says: “We are finding that clients are more aware of the need to ensure that their executors know about digital assets and the means of accessing them at the relevant time. We can assist in advising clients how best to do this, according to their personal circumstances.”

The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) has joined a growing chorus of organisations which are urging individuals to appreciate that modern technology needs to be taken into consideration when they set their affairs in order.

Among the issues that people should consider is whether loved ones will have the relevant access to social media sites, online bank accounts and email addresses.

Without making the appropriate preparations, there is a danger that data of sentimental value – such as digital photographs – and financial assets could be lost.

A new booklet, produced by SAIF, urges people not to overlook these issues.

Summarising the situation, it says: “Worrying about social media accounts after we have died may seem trivial to some people but, to others, that carefully honed Facebook page and those precious tweets may be a gift for their loved ones.

“Of course, social media is only the tip of an ever expanding iceberg. What about your online banking accounts and savings? The money in them will go into the ‘pot’ with other bank accounts, but the problem is that whoever is dealing with your assets might not even know they exist and they are not going to get a paper statement through the post to alert them to your digital stash.

“Remember, whoever is going to organise your finances will need to be able to trace what is in your estate, or they may be lost forever.”

If you require advice on any aspect of drafting or revising a Will, please contact Ian West (IanWest@cartercamerons.com), or Michael Woodward (MichaelWoodward@cartercamerons.com) or visit our website.