We are all familiar with our tangible assets such as our house or a bank account, but how familiar are we with our digital estate?

Are we aware of what digital assets we have and have we thought about what happens to these digital assets following our death?

Digital assets can be described as any “personal property or records in digital form”.

This covers a wide range of assets such as software licences, online only bank accounts, crypto currency holdings and even photographs stored in the Cloud. Many of us have digital accounts such as Facebook or iTunes.

What happens to these digital assets on death? Legally, the digital property will vest in the deceased’s personal representatives.

But how will our personal representatives find out about our digital assets and if located, how will they access them?

Another issue to consider is how digital assets are taxed on death. If the digital asset has a value like any other tangible asset, it will need to be considered and included when ascertaining someone’s inheritance tax liability.

So as part of our planning for later life with the making of a will or a Lasting Power of Attorney, we should also consider what plans need to be put in place in relation to our digital assets.

We need to consider drawing up a list of our digital assets to assist our personal representatives when administering our estate?

Should we also be thinking about who we leave such assets to and the practicalities of our loved ones accessing them? The subject of digital assets is one that is only going to increase as time moves forward and therefore, we will all at some point need to give some consideration to this subject.