Trusts and inheritance tax planning

Digital asset management

Our lawyers can help you to identify your digital assets and put the appropriate arrangements in place to ensure that they are protected and preserved. 

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Digital assets form part of your estate but because they don't fall neatly within a traditional estate plan, they are commonly overlooked. We can help you identify, protect, and preserve your digital assets. 

In the UK, there is no legal definition of what constitutes a digital asset but it is generally accepted to include photographs and videos stored online, blogs, e-books, information contained in documents, such as emails and cryptocurrencies.

These assets may be important for sentimental reasons and the growth of cryptocurrencies means that some individuals may also leave digital assets of significant monetary value.

Our Private Client team will be able to assist you in including your digital assets as part of your greater estate planning by identifying and creating an inventory of your digital assets, drafting instructions for your executors or appointing a digital executor under your will. We can suggest different ways to safeguard your login details, passwords, and private keys, while also making practical arrangements to deal with your online accounts. We can also provide advice on tax efficiency when dealing with digital assets such as cryptocurrency.  And if you are an artist or author, we can help you draft a will that specifically deals with your creative works.

In a traditional estate, it will be common for the executors and beneficiaries to see the objects dealt with under a Will, or to have the information necessary to access them such as bank account details and insurance policy documents.

With digital assets, it is not so easy for the assets to be traced. Digital assets, such as photos and music, will be stored on a computer and online investment accounts will be held with the relevant provider with communication only by email.

Some service providers also do not permit the transmission of login details from the original account holder, and to use them would potentially be an offence. Other digital assets may not in fact be owned but rather licensed from the service provider. This means that estate planning needs careful consideration more than ever.

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