Digital Footprint In Spotlight As Online Information Lost When We Die

Law Society Calls For People To Leave Instructions On How To Handle Their Digital Legacy

22.04.2014

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The Law Society is advising people to be more aware of their online assets as they write a will to ensure that people don’t lose their digital legacy.

Online gaming characters, passwords for photographs and internet savings accounts are at risk of being lost forever if the relevant information on logging in and accessing accounts is not passed on when we die.

The Law Society is updating advice for writing wills in the 21st century and is warning that assets such as music, social networking and gaming characters are often not dealt with in wills.

The Law Society advice states: "People should leave clear instructions about what should happen to their social media, computer games and other online accounts after their death.  Having a list of all your online accounts, such as email, banking, investments and social networking sites will make it easier for family members to piece together your digital legacy, adhere to your wishes and could save time and money. Not making your digital legacy clear could mean important or sentimental material – such as photographs on social networks – is never recovered."

The Law Society's president, Nicholas Fluck, said: "As technology has evolved, so has the way we store information. Simple things such as photographs, which in the past we could have flicked through in a printed album, are now stored online. By making our wishes clear now, it will be easier for loved ones to recover pictures to cherish and will help with the more practical issues such as online bank accounts."