Your Digital Legacy
Have you made plans for your social media accounts should something happen to you?
The majority of the population have social media accounts where they store photos, videos and memories but what happens to these when you die? Unless someone else has the passwords for your digital accounts then these cannot be accessed and will be lost following death.
The Digital Legacy Association, launched in 2015, has recognised that this issue needs to be addressed when planning for end of life and has a website that is designed to help people deal with making arrangements for account information and passwords to be passed to family or friends after death. For some it is important that their accounts are closed and for others it is their wish that their social accounts are maintained and regularly updated and treated as an online memorial for people to visit and post their own memories.
It is not only social media that needs to be considered. What about online bank accounts, online shopping accounts and downloaded music? Without disclosing passwords to someone that you trust, these cannot be accessed easily.
Most mobile phones can only be accessed with a passcode. Is this where you store your contact’s numbers and addresses rather than the traditional address book? Without the passcode, your family would be unable to advise your friends and other contacts of any funeral arrangements. Manufacturers and network providers will not provide assistance to enable someone to access your hardware, due to their privacy agreements and in some instances they are unable to assist as they only provide the network for your hardware to run on.
Digital Legacy Advice
‘People should leave clear instructions about what should happen to their social media, computer games and other online accounts after their death’ – The Law Society
We have all been advised that we should not disclose passwords to anyone or write them down but with the use of digital technology becoming more and more a part of our lives, we all now need to reconsider this advice and make the necessary arrangements for this information to be passed on to someone that we trust. For some, the realisation that their memory can be carried on is of some comfort in addressing the difficult subject of death.
Tollers LLP has a dedicated team able to help you with all of your estate planning, including planning for your digital estate Talk to Tollers Trust and Estates Team on 01604 258558