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The age of digital inheritance

As more and more of us amass digital assets on sites such as Flikr and Facebook, people are seriously beginning to consider passing on their online possessions as a form of digital inheritance.

The concept may seem slightly futuristic, but the digital age is truly upon us.  So much so that a recent survey commissioned by hosting firm Rackspace revealed that Britons are storing £2.3bn worth of music, films, books, apps and online subscriptions. This staggering figure makes the concept of digital asset management seem less far-fetched and more like a necessary progression in the field of inheritance.

As an experienced wills and probate solicitor, I have seen this trend growing over the past few years. Another way that people are passing on information and details to their loved ones is through online storage boxes, such as those available from www.mylastsong.com , which are designed to allow the easy transmission of information, personal files, photographs and funeral wishes after their death. 

The value of online possessions clearly warrants this change but there are other important factors to consider. Firstly, if passwords are not passed on after death, the estate of the deceased may be liable for any rolling online subscriptions that the deceased person may have had. Secondly, many of our digital assets carry emotional rather than monetary value. Of the two thousand respondents to the Rackspace survey, one third said that they expected to store all of their music online by 2020. A quarter said the same in respect of photos. It may be worth considering including details of your online assets within your Will.

Whether or not you wish to leave a digital inheritance, it is essential to have a will that is properly prepared. ‘Do it Yourself’ Wills often create more problems than they solve. At Farleys Solicitors LLP we have an experienced team that can advise and assist you in making provisions for your loved ones and ensuring your assets pass to the people you choose. To speak with an experienced solicitor about writing your Will, please contact us.

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