The Virtual You

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?  I am willing to bet that you reach for your phone or tablet and check emails and social media even before you make your morning coffee – am I right?

These days so much of our lives are lived online- not just our social lives but our financial ones as well. We keep so much information in digital locations – enough that it would be possible for anyone to steal our identity if they so wished.

But have you thought about what happens to all of you online accounts when you die? 

  • Would you like your social media timelines to end when you do, or would you rather have your profile “memorialised”?
  • Wouldn’t it be easier for your executors if they knew the passwords for all of your accounts?

It is important for all adults to get their virtual assets in order, sooner rather than later.  After all, think about the mess we are all potentially leaving behind.  From banking passwords to Ebay and LinkedIn logins, without some sort of long term plan our laptops are a jumble of personal and financial data that our families can’t make head or tail of!  Sorting through this sort of mess can be more daunting than clearing out the house of a deceased family member.

It is not advisable to include your passwords in a Will – which becomes a public document when you die.  There have been cases of unscrupulous people obtaining the Will of a recently deceased person and using the passwords to clear out PayPal and bank accounts.

However, there are 2 things that you can do right now to protect and control your digital assets when you die:

  1.  Create a digital directory of all of your passwords and logins (password protected of course!) and keep it updated.  A sealed envelope in a safe place is just as good.
  2. Make a Will.  Include specific instructions on what you wish to happen to your digital assets.  This will allow your executors to manage your digital life as you would wish.

So, tomorrow morning, before your first caffeine hit of the day – as you log on to your social media accounts – why not make a list of them instead and save your loved ones time and distress when you are gone.

 For a no-obligation home visit throughout Nottinghamshire call Amanda on 0115 8780417 or email on amanda@alhlegal-willwriters.co.uk.