digital assets

Practitioner shares top tips for ensuring clients’ digital identities never die

Constance Campbell, Solicitor at Winckworth Sherwood, has shared the below steps clients can take to ensure their digital assets are protected and accessible in the future.

Make a legacy account for Apple

This one is a must. Clients can follow STEP’s easy guide below to make a legacy contact with Apple. It will take less than five minutes and it will mean that their legacy contact has access to all of their iCloud data in the event of their death. Clients have the option to either share the access key with their legacy contact, notifying them of their appointment, or to print a copy of the QR access code, which they can store alongside their will and other important documents. Without a legacy contact, their Apple account will be deleted after a period of time has elapsed and their iCloud account subscription has been unpaid.

Share Google docs forever

Google, unlike Microsoft, has an option to give legacy contacts access to data with their “Google Inactive Account Manager”. Clients can choose to give their legacy contact access to their photos on their Google Drive, but not their Gmail account for example. Clients may consider sharing their emails as they can hold valuable information that personal representatives (PRs) may not otherwise know about, which could save their estate money and PRs time.

Choose who memorialises a Facebook account

Facebook can be one of the best ways for PRs to let friends and family know that somebody has died. Clients may wish to appoint a legacy contact to manage their memorialised account. They will also be able to set up a tribute section to allow people to share comments, pictures, and posts on a separate page.

LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Microsoft

There is currently nothing to do during one’s lifetime for these accounts. When somebody dies, PRs will be able to provide these companies with the proof of death they need to delete an account.

Keep things under review

The tech companies’ legacy tools may well change over time, so in the same way that practitioners advise clients to review their will every three to five years, clients should consider diarising to see if there have been any changes to these accounts over time. This is also a helpful way to review whether a legacy contact remains the right person a client wish to access their digital identity when they die.

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