Preston Redman talk us through how to protect digital assets
What are digital assets?
Digital assets relate to anything that is stored online such as:
Email accounts (Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail), pictures and document storage (Google Drive, cloud storage), subscription services (Netflix, Amazon, Spotify), music and video assets, pictures and document storages (Google Drive, cloud storage), gaming accounts and profiles social media content (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).
Richard Smith at Preston Redman suggests that we can take the following steps to secure our digital legacy:
1. Think carefully about all the digital assets that you have
2. Make a list of each one including any passwords and log in details
3. Make a note if any of these have any money/ credit cards attached to them and think how you would like these distributed
4. Review the terms and conditions that you adhered to when setting up each online account.
5. Ensure that the digital assets are included in the Will
Many digital assets are still a grey area as we never actually own them outright, we have the licence to use the services from a particular website. Once we have opened an account we automatically agree to the terms and conditions of use. Licences are usually non- transferable and terminate on death therefore meaning the ‘assets’ will not form part of the estate.
Facebook and Instagram accounts offer memorial pages. Facebook and Twitter also offer the option of downloading the content from your pages to keep as an archive. Most email accounts have provisions in place which deal with inactive accounts such as Hotmail who will delete an account if it hasn’t been accessed for 270 days.
The situation with other digital assets is less clear. Your iTunes account, Amazon media, and other items which have cloud storage are probably not transferable on your death as you do not own these digital assets. You merely have a licence to access the music, videos, and books etc.