Digital Assets & The Law – What You Need To Know

The digital environment is very complex when it comes to ownership, and it should be considered carefully what can be bequeathed.

Just as estate planning is needed for the distribution of financial and material assets, it has become increasingly important to plan for the distribution of one’s digital assets.

The Laws relating to this area are complex and differ from country to country.

Increasingly we can use the internet and digital technologies in our everyday life. We use digital files to store photographs, music, videos etc., as well as using email, and social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter and personal or business websites.

What happens to those digital assets when you die? That might be subject to the terms of use of the particular service, however you should consider at least making a register of all of your valuable digital assets as well as a list of all relevant passwords to be given to a trusted person (possibly your executor of your will or your Power of Attorney) with directions you might have as to those assets. Such a register and instructions might appropriately be included in your will.

The person should ideally be someone technically capable of following your instructions. There are also on-line services available to store your digital register and instructions.

If you would like to discuss your digital assets please contact us. We would be more than happy to assist you through this complex area.