Aug. 29, 2012
-- Our lives are increasingly lived online – by socialising on Twitter or Facebook or by online purchasing and banking. The emergence of the ‘cloud’ – i.e storage of data on a remote rather than local server – means that our photos, music, personal information etc are all part of a new digital property. We live our lives by the click of a button and often fail to consider the future… few think about what will happen to their internet life when they die.
If the issue is not considered the information could be misused. Also, online assets and accounts can easily be missed if there is no paper record and the Executors have no knowledge of them. Neither Facebook nor Twitter will hand over login information to Executors. On receipt of a death certificate, Twitter will delete an account and Facebook will either ‘memorialise’
the account or delete it on request. With other sites it depends on their terms and conditions – have you checked them out?
Legislation is currently being drawn up both in the EU and the US to seek to address the issues. However these are complex and, as has rightly been commented that ‘legislation will always be the tortoise to technology’s hare’.
Increasingly people include login details and passwords in their Wills - however, unless securely stored; this could create serious security issues and also makes it cumbersome to keep records up-to-date. Alternatively, the Will could refer to a sealed envelope securely stored with the Will to contain the relevant information. This may be more secure and also allow for details to be updated in a simpler and quicker way.
If you would like to make a Will to deal with your actual, as well as virtual, asset and affairs contact Claudia Roberts at Glanvilles on 01983 527878 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Glanvilles have offices in Fareham, Havant and Isle of Wight and offer a full range of legal services for individuals and businesses. For more information visit http://www.glanvilles.co.uk