Digital legacy

People should leave clear instructions about what should happen to their social media, computer games and other online accounts after their death" The Law Society, 2014

We all have a digital footprint – this can include photographs, social media posts, blogs, music downloads and email. But do you know what will happen to all of these assets when you die?

As we spend more and more time online, our digital legacy is becoming increasingly important to consider.

When someone dies, it is natural for their loved ones to turn to the platforms they used when they were alive to remember them. For many people, their loved one’s Facebook and Twitter accounts can act as focal points for remembrance. People can access photos and videos of their friend or relative, read the conversations they had with them and share memories with others on their Facebook wall.

Getting started

We can now plan for what we want to happen to our digital estate in a similar way to how we address our physical estate, for example by writing a social media will. We want to help people have these important conversations and ensure that their wishes at the end of their lives are respected.

According to an online survey carried out by DeadSocial, 62% of people consider being able to access a deceased friend or family member’s social media accounts ‘important’ or ‘very important’. Making plans for digital assets, such as MP3 files, eBooks and digital photos can also reduce stress and save money, as they can be transferred to the next of kin.

Resources to help you write your digital legacy

This link offers free resources to help you think about and plan your digital legacy.

Also, below we have provided a very simple online Will template. Download it and fill it a bit at a time so you know you have covered all your digital assets.

While most of us will quickly recall our social media accounts, don’t forget email, online shopping, cloud-based storage and messaging services.