Digital assets on incapacity and death
Produced in partnership with Kerry Bornman of 3 Stone Buildings
Digital assets on incapacity and death

The following Private Client guidance note Produced in partnership with Kerry Bornman of 3 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Digital assets on incapacity and death
  • No legislative definition
  • US legislation
  • Which digital assets form part of the estate?
  • Accessing digital assets
  • Valuing digital assets
  • Steps that individuals should take to protect their digital estate
  • Cross border issues

Digital assets survive incapacity or death. Anyone who owns a digital device or has an online account should have a plan for dealing with that asset, whatever their age.

No legislative definition

There is no legislative definition of a ‘digital asset’ in the UK. Digital assets can be understood as any information about you or created by you that exists in digital form, either online or on an electronic storage device, including the information necessary to access the digital asset.

Digital Assets include:

  1. Personal digital assets:

    1. computing hardware: computers, external hard drives, flash drives, tablets, smartphones, digital music players, e-readers, digital cameras

    2. any information or data that is stored electronically: online, in the cloud or on a physical device

    3. online accounts: banking, utilities, insurance, email, stock trading, betting, social media, shopping, film subscriptions, photo and video sharing, gaming accounts, and online storage

    4. virtual currency: Bitcoins, Linden dollars, etc

    5. domain names, websites, blogs

    6. intellectual property

    7. professional profiles

  2. Business digital assets:

    1. any digital assets owned by a business: computing hardware, data, licensable code, passwords to patents, presentations, white papers, link portfolios and financial spreadsheets, branding assets, analysis reports

    2. online accounts: company email, Google ID, social media, apps

    3. assets of an online store: eg eBay, Etsy, Amazon

    4. domain names, websites

    5. mailing lists, newsletter subscriptions, client email lists, client history