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Millions forget online passwords when making a will

John Howe

Pudsey law firm John Howe & Co is urging people to include digital passwords in their wills to ensure executors can access online information.

Research released by the Law Society demonstrated that only 7% of people fully understood the importance of digital information such as passwords, social media accounts and online or Cloud-based photos after they have died.

The research released by the Law Society showed that of the 1,000 people surveyed:

  • 93% of those with a will had not considered including digital information in it.
  • 25% knew what would happen to their digital assets after they die.
  • 7% fully understood what would happen to digital assets after death.
  • 29% had a current up to date will.

John Howe said: “We keep our important paperwork in a locked safe or drawer and make sure our family know where it is and how to access it.

“In the internet era so much of our lives, photos, diaries, even financial assets such as PayPal or Bitcoin which may have an effect on the value of an estate, and in turn the Inheritance Tax owed, is online or in the ‘Cloud’.

“This means it is vital that when making our wills and planning our estates, our passwords are available to our executors.

“Passwords are also vital information that could affect probate, online banking in particular but there are other online financial dealings, such as shares and credit cards that are often managed online and password protected.

“The death of someone close to us is never easy but giving proper consideration to the internet age will at least make this particular aspect of estate management easier.”

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