How To Ensure Digital Assets Are Included In Your Will - Jonathan Lea Network

How To Ensure Digital Assets Are Included In Your Will

In today’s digital world, tangible assets may not be the only inheritance that you consider bequeathing to loved ones; digital assets have quickly become a significant part of many people’s lives.

The term “digital asset” encompasses a variety of digital possessions you own or may have access to. These include social media or other online accounts such as email or bank accounts, cryptocurrencies held in wallets or on other platforms, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), investment portfolios, videos as well as images. These all form part of our digital identities and for many people, may have sentimental or indeed a monetary value.

This article will explore the importance of addressing digital assets in a well drafted Will and how to navigate this crucial aspect of modern estate planning.

Not only does including digital assets in your Will ensure that your executors are aware of their existence, it will also avoid any complications at a later date when determining who these assets belong to. As a starting point, it is important to identify and list all digital assets you may own. While creating a list, it is worthwhile including any login details which are needed (such as passwords), as well as any additional information needed to access and manage the assets. As far as usernames and passwords are concerned, it is possible to create an online vault which you can share with trusted individuals for them to access at a later date.

Thereafter, a crucial part of any Will is appointing suitable executors who will be able to fulfil your wishes. The executor(s) will be responsible for managing and distributing your assets once you have passed away and it is therefore important that if you are planning on leaving digital assets in your Will, the executor has sufficient technical knowledge to access and distribute the digital assets.

Once you have created a comprehensive list of your digital assets and decided who to appoint as an executor, it is crucial to clearly specify your wishes in relation to each asset. It is common for digital assets’ ownership to be transferred, however, you may have additional wishes, for example that any personal information which is of a sensitive nature is removed.

The most important part of leaving digital assets to loved ones is making sure that your Will is well drafted. Here at the Jonathan Lea Network, our Private Client team are able to make sure that your Will is drafted in accordance with your wishes. As part of the services we offer, we are able to update an existing Will you may have, to make sure that any new digital assets which you acquire are included. It is vitally important to regularly update your Will, which will give peace of mind that all your assets (whether physical or digital) are left to people of your choosing.

However, if you pass away without a valid Will, the way in which your digital and physical assets are distributed becomes more complicated. The rules of intestacy dictate how your estate is distributed, where a Will has not been written. This can lead to difficulties for your loved ones, since the process for distributing your assets becomes complex. Dying intestate can also pose significant issues concerning your digital assets, since your heirs may not be able to legally access or identify them. This is particularly true for online accounts, such as digital wallets used for cryptocurrencies.

If you are intending on leaving assets to loved ones, whether these be physical or digital, a well drafted Will is a crucial part of estate planning. By taking a proactive approach in ensuring that your digital assets are included in your Will, you can ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and your loved ones are provided for.

If you are considering writing a Will, or would like your current Will updated to include your digital assets, we can help. At The Jonathan Lea Network, we offer a fixed fee service and give you invaluable advice; as we know that writing a Will should stand you in good stead for a long time after writing it. For all clients, we offer an initial no cost, no obligation, 20-minute video call to discuss your circumstances.

To book an introductory call with one of our team, please send an initial email to (with a brief description of the matter) and one of our team will liaise with you to fix a time to speak to one of our specialists.

This article is intended for general information only, applies to the law at the time of publication, is not specific to the facts of your case and is not intended to be a replacement for legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before relying on any of the information given. © Jonathan Lea Limited 2023. 

About Johannes Gottschalk

After studying Law at the University of Sussex, Johannes spent five years working at a fintech accountancy firm in Brighton where he built strong working relationships with clients and provided accountancy, tax and compliance advice. Working across multiple departments, Johannes looked after a variety of complex companies and was also responsible for reviewing contracts for services to ensure compliance with HMRC legislation.

The Jonathan Lea Network is an SRA regulated firm that employs solicitors, trainees and paralegals who work from a modern office in Haywards Heath. This close-knit retain team is enhanced by a trusted network of specialist self-employed solicitors who, where relevant, combine seamlessly with the central team.

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