Gary Rycroft column

Gary Rycroft.
Gary Rycroft.

There is no stopping the digital world as it continues a pace, seeping into to every nook and cranny of our lives - and that in turn has an effect on our afterlives.

Nowadays there are digital assets with financial value such as paperless bank accounts, PayPal accounts and crypto-currency like Bitcoin.

If the owner died how would those left behind piece it all together and ensure the assets are passed on to the correct beneficiaries? It would be a tricky job without knowing where to look in the first place.

There are digital assets with sentimental value such as photographs and videos, which may not have financial worth, but most of us would want them saved and made available to our loved ones.

There are also digital assets with social value such as Twitter and FaceBook. I met an entrepreneur recently who runs a website called DeadSocial which allows members to upload a final message and picture on social media, to be activated by a trusted friend after death.

We are told the digital world is all about making life easier to manage, but it seems to me it’s actually making everything more complicated, with aspects of our existence dotted all over cyber space.

Well there are two good old fashioned things you can do to help the situation. One is make a Will so that there are named persons - your executors - with legal authority to take over and sort out your affairs including your digital life.

And the other is make a list on a piece of paper. Yes on paper not online.

If you write a “Digital Directory” there’s no need to write down passwords - as that would be a potential security breach – all that’s needed is a list of each online account and username.

Then keep the list safe at home or with your Will, which is hopefully lodged with your solicitor.

I have drafted a simple “Digital Directory” and if you would like me to email you a copy do get in touch with me at gary.rycroft@jajsolicitors.co.uk

In the meantime, I must admit I’m still thinking about what I would say in my final tweet but “Just fell under a bus #notjoking” is the current favourite.