Make sure your assets dont die with you by Helen Greenwood & Elizabeth Groom
A Will is one of the most important documents you will prepare during your lifetime, stating what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. Your Will appoints an Executor(s), whose responsibility it is to ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes. There are practical steps that you can take now to assist your Executor(s) in dealing with your estate on your death.
The internet is becoming increasingly integrated into every aspect of our lives. Many of us use online or mobile banking and manage our shares and investments entirely through the internet. Financial assets may be lost on your death without a paper trail for your Executor(s) to follow.
Lost or hidden online assets are becoming a relevant and common issue in today’s society. Therefore, once you have made a Will, it is becoming increasingly important to put together an inventory or addendum containing information relating to your online assets, including bank details, account information and any internet sites and passwords your Executor(s) will need to know. The inventory or addendum can be updated as and when your circumstances change. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that that written record does not invalidate insurance put in place to protect those assets in the case of fraud.
Once prepared, the inventory or addendum could be lodged with your Solicitors to be kept with your Will. Alternatively, you may wish to store the information on your computer and simply pass to your Solicitors details of where the information can be located and any password required to access the file. In this way, you can ensure that the entirety of your estate will be dealt with as you wish and that your estate will not be one where your online assets and personal information die with you.