So many of us store a wealth of personal information online without even realising, we use the internet for everything from online banking to uploading photographs on social media platforms and even use the internet to pay bills and store documents. With so much sensitive information online, have you ever thought, what happens to it when you die?

Well, most accounts are automatically deleted after around 9-12 months of not being used. All of your information would then be lost, including photographs, financial information, and potentially valuable documents.

Protecting your information when you die can be done in the same way as protecting your home and assets, by including it in your Will. A Digital Executor can be appointed and a separate document can be added to your will with all your online account information (logins, passwords, etc.) to allow access.

Many people chose to do this manually by handing over account information to loved ones and allowing them to impersonate them following their death. This can be troublesome as it breaks most companies’ terms and conditions and runs the risk of a person unrightfully inheriting an asset or taking ownership.  Bequeathing digital assets in your Will leaves no room for confusion and simplifies the process.

Most online providers have deceased-user policies in place for when a user dies, they generally require proof of death in the form of a death certificate and evidence that the deceased appointed them to have access. A Will would provide this information and ensure the executor is granted access.

For more information on any of the issues raised above please contact our specialist team here.