Why you should include digital assets in your will
The majority of people understand the importance of ensuring they have their affairs in order, yet according to financial and investment specialists at Canada Life, approximately 59% of adults in the UK do have a written will.
A will is a legal document that allows someone to map out exactly what they would like to happen to their assets in the event of death.
These assets include things such as property, vehicles, money in bank accounts, jewellery, and anything else at all that person deems valuable or of some significance. What many people don’t realise or consider is that these assets can also include intangible things, such as social media accounts, documents and files on a computer, online gaming profiles, and digital cryptocurrencies.
These digital assets can prove extremely valuable and may have the potential to grow in value - far more than you may ever think. This is why it’s wise to consider all digital assets you own when writing your will.
What will happen if I don’t put my digital assets in my will?
Just like any other asset, digital assets will be considered part of the owner’s estate regardless of whether they have been listed in a will or not.
Any part of the deceased’s estate that isn’t specifically mentioned in a will becomes part of what is known as the ‘residuary’ estate. This will include any money and/or possessions that aren’t accounted for with a specific bequest. A bequest could be something such as ‘I bequest £15,000 to my sister’, or ‘I leave my wedding ring to my daughter’. The residuary estate will include items of high value, such as artwork, collections, vehicles etc. as well as item of lesser value, such as clothes or homeware. This residuary estate, including the digital assets that weren’t mentioned in a will, would be passed on to whoever has been named as the residuary beneficiary in the will.
Should someone pass away without leaving a valid will, their digital assets would pass with the rest of their estate to the person who becomes entitled to the inheritance in accordance with the intestacy rules.
Learn more about what happens if you don’t leave a will.
Why it’s important to ensure digital assets are included in your will
Some people may be content enough knowing that their digital assets will be passed on to whoever is named as the residuary beneficiary, but even so, there are still several reasons as to why you should seriously consider outlining within your will exactly who you want the assets to go to.
The main reasons include:
- To ensure digital asset items of high value or high sentiment pass to the correct individual(s).
- To ensure the true value of owned digital assets aren’t overlooked or missed.
- To leave specific instructions that outline how your digital assets are to be deal with following your death.
If you’d like to discuss your will in more detail, or would like to challenge a situation regarding a will that’s been left, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of expert solicitors here at Fonseca Law. We offer a wide range of legal services and are ready to help you with your personal situation. Get in touch with us today to see how we can move things forward by calling 01495 303124, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or simply complete our online contact form and a member of our legal team will be in touch.