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Digital inheritance of digital assets

Anyone who has ever wondered about the value of the many downloads stored in their online music account and how many treasured photographs they have in online storage should also consider what will happen to these when they die.

Many of us will have considered who we wish to pass on our treasured music and photo collections to, but few remember to include the virtual, online versions which – for millions of people – now hold far more photos and songs than their physical albums.

Now that many of our sentimental assets have taken on a digital form, without careful planning many of us are running the risk that our digital assets, our music, films and photos, will be lost forever.

We live in an age where online technologies are becoming a permanent and integral part of modern life. Social media and the digital age is undoubtedly tightening its grip on our personal lives and the way we own our music, films and books.

4 out of 5 people now own ‘digital assets’, such as internet bank accounts, music downloads and photograph collections which are increasingly stored online or on our computers.

It is becoming the norm, rather than the exception, for cherished family photo albums to be kept entirely online and it is estimated that by 2020 more than a third of all music will be held online.

The financial value of digital assets cannot be underestimated. A poll of 2,000 adults found that 1 in 4 had online assets worth £200 or more.

It is estimated that Britons store around £2.3 billion worth of digital assets online.

Despite this, only 1 in 10 of us has considered what will happen to our digital assets when we die.

By failing to consider how we wish our digital assets to be dealt with, the executors of a Will may be left unaware of, or struggling to deal with, valuable and sentimental assets. Without careful planning, treasured digital assets and memories may be lost forever.

Our team of specialist Wills, Trusts and Probate lawyers are now helping more and more clients to incorporate their digital assets into their Wills, ensuring memories are dealt with properly and kept safe for your inheritors.

If you would like to discuss making a Will or reviewing your existing Will, please contact a member of our team.

Posted on April 16, 2015

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