Your Digital Legacy – the Four-Step DIY Plan

18th August 2020 11:34 am Comments Off on Your Digital Legacy – the Four-Step DIY Plan

What would happen if you were to die today, or if you were suddenly incapacitated with COVID, or after a car accident or a stroke?  How would those close to you pick up the pieces?

More and more of our lives are conducted online, and this is starting to cause serious problems, and real distress, for relatives trying to sort things out after a death or incapacity, but finding themselves locked out of digital devices and accounts.

This can block access to real assets, such as money in bank accounts which are managed online, but also to emails, social media accounts, subscriptions, even family photographs stored online.

Preventing these problems is in your hands, a simple four-step plan.  It is easy, just a little time-consuming.

When you die, or if you are struck down by illness or injury, it is very hard on those around you.  You can help them by removing these obstacles, and you may find that the Plan helps you get back into some half-forgotten account.

 

Step 1

First of all, list all your devices – laptop, mobile phone, tablet.  Then write down the password, PIN or access pattern for each.

 

Step 2

Then, looking at what you use each of them for, identify each account or identity you have, and write that down, with the username and password for each.  That might include

  • Google or Apple account,
  • online or mobile banking apps,
  • PayPal, digital wallet or other digital payment app,
  • digital trading account,
  • cloud storage – Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.,
  • social media accounts – some allow you to nominate a friend to take control, or make it into a memorial page, some don’t
  • utility accounts – gas, electricity, water, telephone, broadband, insurances, etc.,
  • shopping apps – eBay, Amazon, store apps, etc.
  • entertainment subscriptions,
  • loyalty cards,
  • dating apps,
  • health apps – Patient Access, NHSBlood, etc.
  • genealogy records,
  • organisation memberships,
  • individual app subscriptions,
  • gaming identities.

 

Step 3

Don’t just record all this in a digital document – that will be caught in the same trap.  Write it on a piece of paper, or print a hard copy of the digital document, and give that (perhaps in a sealed envelope) to someone you really trust.

 

Step 4

Don’t just do it once and then forget about it.  Things change over time.  Review it and update it, say, every year – when you do it the first time, set a calendar reminder for the review, and keep that process going.

For more information on Wills, LPA’s or recording your digital legacy email us on PrivateClient@colemans.co.uk, or call on 01628 631 051 to ask to speak to a solicitor in our Private Client team.


Categorised in: Wills, Probate and Trusts

This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP

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