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Writing a Will is something that most adults fail to prioritise, with over half of the UK adult population still needing a Will. Topping the list of reasons for not having a Will is the belief that they do not have enough assets or wealth to need one or the assumption that loved ones will automatically inherit their estate even without a Will in place. Other areas of concern for professional Will writers include the rising trend in the number of people attempting to write a Will themselves or using unregulated advisors.

Read our previous article: The Importance of Using a Regulated Legal Professional When Writing a Will

Without specialist and regulated advice or guidance, there are real risks associated with entrusting this important task to unregulated or inexperienced individuals or attempting to do this on your own. A correctly drafted Will can ensure that important details are not overlooked, and all assets are considered. One of the biggest oversights when drafting a Will is the value and importance of someone’s digital assets, known as a digital legacy.

From standard social media accounts to high-value crypto assets, there are not many of us who do not have some sort of digital presence. In fact, according to recent data released by Statista.com, the United Kingdom had approximately 66.33 million internet users and over 56 million active social media users as of January 2024. In this blog, our private client team answers some frequently asked questions on digital assets and the importance of including them in your Will.

What is a digital legacy?

A digital legacy categorises the online information (your digital assets) you wish to leave behind, and to whom, after you pass away. Digital assets can include a wide range of online items, such as social media and email accounts, personal websites or blogs, music or photo libraries, valuable online files, cryptocurrency wallets and NFTs.

Why should you include digital assets in a Will?

Typically, these assets will be locked behind a password and if you have not granted access to someone you trust or an intended beneficiary, these are in danger of being lost. Particular care must be taken when dealing with digital assets with specific financial value, and a professional Will writer with expertise in estate planning, Will writing and inheritance tax planning can help you ensure these are dealt with correctly when including them in your Will.

It is also important to remember that accurately recording your wishes concerning your digital assets and how to access them will make it less stressful for your family and loved ones and can help avoid any family disputes.

You should also consider providing access to digital assets in a Financial Property & Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney. This would allow the person you appoint to manage these assets for you if you lost mental capacity.

How do you include digital assets in a Will or Trust?

One of the first tasks in assessing your digital assets will be to review which of these have financial value and which have sentimental value. Sentimental digital assets could include items such as online photo libraries, videos, and access to personal social media accounts. Digital assets that have financial value could include cryptocurrency wallets or NFTs, digital business assets such as domain names, websites, or professional social media accounts with a high following. As with standard assets left in a Will, you should leave strict instructions to your executors on how to access these accounts, how they should be managed, and whom you intend them to be left to.

Are there any tax considerations regarding digital assets?

Yes, just like all assets, a vital component in drafting a Will or setting up a Trust is ensuring that the correct tax treatments are applied, as digital assets that have significant financial value could be subject to Capital Gains Tax. Seeking legal advice from a regulated professional can ensure that your Will meets your specific requirements and is prepared in the most tax efficient way.

At Rose & Rose, our regulated Will writing solicitors have the necessary legal knowledge, qualifications, and experience to ensure your Will is drafted correctly and complies with the law. We can provide valuable guidance, address complex scenarios, and tailor the Will to your specific circumstances.

Will Writing Solicitors Near Me

At Rose & Rose HPLP, we understand the significance of using a regulated legal professional when writing your Will. Our experienced Will writing solicitors have expertise in estate planning, probate, lasting powers of attorney and Will drafting. Our expertise also includes dealing with high-net-worth families and individuals, cross-border assets, and Will disputes.

We prioritise understanding your unique circumstances and tailoring a comprehensive Will that reflects your wishes and protects your loved ones.

For further information, please contact a member of our team below.

This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our team of solicitors.

Meet the team

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Sally-Ann Joseph

Ashraf Islam

Zubair Dharamsi

Zubair Dharamsi

Aneta Kapron

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Romeo Fazal

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Lucy Stanton