We all know that we should make a Will, and when thinking about succession planning we tend to think about the obvious things to leave to beneficiaries, such as property, personal items and assets. However we often forget about their digital assets.
Digital assets include cryptocurrency, which has a monetary value, and social media accounts, which are of a personal nature. Not having an accurately drafted Will could potentially mean your digital assets could be lost when you die, depriving your beneficiaries from huge amounts of money and sentimental items such as pictures and videos.
In this article the deceased did not leave a Will, and in the absence of one Apple would not release the digital assets. The deceased’s wife spent thousands of pounds and 3 years before obtaining a Court Order for Apple to release the 4,500 photographs and 900 videos. A heart-breaking situation for a family in mourning.
In an ever changing world it is important to consider all assets and ensure they will not be lost on death. If you have digital assets it would be sensible to keep an inventory which clearly identifies them, and of course keep it up to date.
A judge has ordered Apple to give a widow access to her late husband’s online accounts to recover treasured family photos after a long legal battle. Rachel Thompson spent three years and paid thousands of pounds in her fight to open the Apple account that held 4,500 photos and 900 videos. She said that her success was possible only after lawyers worked without charge. Mrs Thompson, 44, a property adviser from Chiswick, west London, said that the American tech giant was harsh and unhelpful. She wanted access to images that would help their daughter Matilda, ten, remember her father, who killed himself in July 2015.