I Give Devise and Be-Tweet

I am sure there are many people (myself included) who need not concern themselves about their digital legacy. There are however, a significant cohort of the population who have a digital legacy. The question of what happens to our digital legacy came to mind when I was discussing with a couple of colleagues whether or not we should be asking clients for their passwords and such other matters when it is that they are preparing their Will or whether or not we should be advising them to have their passwords kept in a sealed envelope with their Will.

In the normal course when I do up a Will I enquire from the client as to their assets. Ordinarily I wouldn’t enquire about their twitter account or ask them who would they like to bequeath their digital legacy.

In order for the Executor to deal with the digital legacies they will need to be able to access your on-line accounts. Hence it would be beneficial if details of the passwords etc are retained for the benefit of the Executor.

The prevailing view is that your digital legacy is not a property right and does not have any intrinsic value. Its value is purely sentimental. Who would you like to leave your music catalogue to or your digital photographs? Maybe your ramblings on twitter will be sought after and valued by your friends and family. Maybe not.

If you live a substantial part of your life on-line these may very well be matters that are of concern to you and that you will need to consider when instructing a Solicitor to draft a Will.

I would suspect that very few people read the terms and conditions when it is that you set up an account with twitter, facebook or g-mail or some such other service provider. If you are concerned about your digital legacy, you will need to go back to the terms and conditions.

The thought of having to read the terms and conditions attaching to the various accounts may be sufficient to deter anyone from dealing with their digital legacy.