With each passing day, more and more information about our lives enters the digital world. And we take as many steps as possible to protect these digital assets and accounts, either for their emotional or monetary value.
But what happens to them after we pass on?
Unfortunately, not many people are aware of, or are prepared to take the steps required to protect their digital assets after they’re gone. 96.9% of people in the United Kingdom have not made any plans for their digital assets after their death!
What you need is a digital estate plan.
Unfortunately, the legal policies, or the lack thereof, for digital estate planning in The UK does not make this easier.
So, what’s the law for planning your digital estate in the UK?
However, neither of these laws recognize the inheritance of digital assets.
And, there is limited clarity in the ownership status of a user’s online account content – is it the user’s property or the service provider’s? Plus, policies of service providers vary as per the country legislation.
The digital estate planning laws in the UK, therefore, are still largely ambiguous. And there is a long way to go before any comprehensive laws are built for digital legacy planning in the country.
But What Can You Do Now?
Despite the country’s laws, you can protect and plan for your data through online digital asset management tools like Clocr by creating a digital will.
Many online service providers make legacy policies available on their platforms. So, even if you do not have a legal way to pass on your digital assets today, you can still decide what should happen to them if you were to pass on. For instance:
- PayPal allows you to close a deceased person’s account.
- Facebook allows you to delete or memorialise or set up a legacy contact for your account.
- Google lets you choose what happens to your account if you were to pass on and even make requests for a deceased person’s account.