News & Insights

Online bank accounts, email and social media – what happens next?

When living in a digital era with more and more of us signing up online, what becomes of your accounts when you die?

This job falls to your Executors. In order to assist, it is useful to complete a list of assets (remembering to keep this up to date) giving clear instructions as to how your Executors access and deal with these. This is also applicable to your other assets including your bank accounts, stocks and shares, property etc.

For example, you may want your Facebook or Twitter account to be deleted, on the other hand you may want it to be preserved and ‘memorialised’ online. If you have particular instructions, these can be detailed in a separate Letter of Wishes addressed to your Executors.

However, do not mention your passwords in your Will as this is a security risk while you are still alive, and may become a security breach once you die and the Will is made public.

Also to bear in mind is that if a third party, including your Executors, use your passwords, they could be committing a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

There may be some difficulty in striking a balance here, but try to keep that post-it note with all your passwords on it in a ‘safe’ place…