Digital assets on incapacity and death
Produced in partnership with Kerry Bornman of 3 Stone Buildings, Erin Hitchens of XXIV Old Buildings and Robert Avis of Charles Russell Speechlys
Digital assets on incapacity and death

The following Private Client practice note Produced in partnership with Kerry Bornman of 3 Stone Buildings, Erin Hitchens of XXIV Old Buildings and Robert Avis of Charles Russell Speechlys provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Digital assets on incapacity and death
  • No legislative definition
  • US legislation
  • Canadian legislation
  • Which digital assets form part of the estate?
  • Case law concerning terms of service
  • Accessing digital assets
  • Valuing digital assets
  • Steps that individuals should take to protect their digital estate
  • Particular challenges for attorneys
  • More...

Digital assets can 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 and no legislation governing a personal representative or fiduciary’s access to digital assets. Digital assets can be understood as any information about you, belonging to 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. It can also connote any form of valuable right that exists in a dematerialised electronic form, such as virtual currencies and other forms of electronic tokens.

Digital Assets can include:

  1. Personal digital assets:

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

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

    3. virtual currency: Bitcoins, Linden dollars, etc

    4. domain names, websites, blogs

    5. intellectual property

    6. 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

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