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How to ensure digital assets are accessible after death

Nina Sperring discusses how you can ensure your loved ones can access key information stored on your phone and laptop after your death, whilst keeping your information secure during your lifetime.

Nina Sperring

by Nina Sperring

calendar_month 7 May 24

schedule 4 min read

What would happen if the unthinkable were to happen and your loved ones needed to access the information stored on your phone? Would they know the password to be able to access your key contacts, your banking information or even download the pictures you have saved?

In a period where we have more personal data in our mobile phones than ever before, our smartphones and tablets have become increasingly important to us in our daily lives. They are a bank of information, memories, data and the resource most people use daily to manage not only our communications but our banking, our social media accounts and even the heating in our homes.

With so much information and access to our online activity held in our personal devices, it is understandable that we password protect these devices. With more phones moving towards fingerprint and facial recognition, in some cases, we no longer even insert the password that we set, but rather allow our devices to use these unique identifiers to gain access.

What should I do if someone needs my password?

Leaving details of key information and where appropriate, passwords, is now more important than ever. As we manage so much of our lives online, whether it is our banking, our social media or our utility bills, leaving password information is clearly imperative in the era of technology we find ourselves in.

Should I include my passwords in my Will?

As your Will becomes a public document, it is not advisable to include password information in this document. You may however consider password management options with your executors specified as emergency contacts. Alternatively, you may wish to create, and regularly update a hard copy list of passwords, to be kept in a secure location. You should not give others access to this list, however, advise executors of the presence and location of this list.

Your social media footprint

Social media has become an integral element of communication and content sharing for people of all ages. In the event of your death, would your loved ones know your wishes in relation to your social media, and if so, would they be able to take the action required?

With each social media platform offering different options in respect of your profiles, including memorialisation, closing your account or leaving it active for loved ones to look back on memories and share messages, password access may be required.

With social media and other digital assets playing such a pivotal role in our lives, you should consider including instructions in your Will about your digital assets.

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) has also published guidance on protecting your digital assets, which can be found here

The team here at Price Slater Gawne can provide guidance and assistance on considering your digital footprint and digital assets within your Will. If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please contact WealthProtection@psg-law.co.uk or call 03333 058375.

Meet the Team

  • Laura Bywater

    Partner, Head of Wealth Protection

    Laura Bywater

    t:07939 121341

    e: laura.bywater@psg-law.co.uk

  • Gareth Williams

    Partner, Court of Protection & Wealth Protection

    Gareth Williams

    t:07497 839796

    e: gareth.williams@psg-law.co.uk

  • Nina Sperring

    Partner, Wealth Protection

    Nina Sperring

    t:07301 218133

    e: nina.sperring@psg-law.co.uk

  • Gail Galloway

    Senior Associate, Wealth Protection

    Gail Galloway

    t:07399 781788

    e: gail.galloway@psg-law.co.uk

  • Suzanna Warburton

    Paralegal. Wealth Protection

    Suzanna Warburton

    t:07946 579067

    e: suzanna.warburton@psg-law.co.uk

  • Lydia Palmer

    Legal Assistant, Wealth Protection

    Lydia Palmer

    t:07399 565976

    e: lydia.palmer@psg-law.co.uk

  • Alexandra Hales

    Paralegal, Court of Protection & Wealth Protection

    Alexandra Hales

    t:07957 958134

    e: alexandra.hales@psg-law.co.uk

  • Marie Fletcher

    Legal Assistant, Wealth Protection

    Marie Fletcher

    t:07399 803662

    e: marie.fletcher@psg-law.co.uk

Get in Touch

If you would like to speak with one of our expert lawyers, just call or email using the information below, or complete this form.

call03333 058375 mailinfo@psg-law.co.uk

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