The Law Society has urged people to include ‘digital assets’ such as emails and photos in their wills, as research reveals that three quarters of people do not know what happens to their online presence after they die.

A survey commissioned by the Law Society found that 93% of those who have a will have not included any digital assets in it. Meanwhile, just a quarter of the 1,000 respondents knew what will happen to their digital assets after they die – with only 7% saying they fully understand.

Law Society president David Greene said: ‘Technology is a huge part of modern life and our digital assets include everything from photos stored online to online banking and email accounts.

Woman types on laptop at kitchen table

Overwhelming majority of people do not account for digital assets in their wills, research finds

Source: iStock

‘Photos, social media accounts and emails from loved ones are often just as treasured as physical possessions – and yet very few people understand what happens to their digital assets or why it is important to include them in their will.’

Greene warned that overlooking digital assets could leave family members unable to access information needed for probate which is stored on online banking accounts, as well as family photos and social media accounts.

‘Writing a digital will and keeping a clear record of online passwords ensures that your loved ones are able to access your digital assets and are not faced with any additional stresses during probate,' he said. 

Last month, the Law Society noted a ‘striking shift’ in the number of people making or updating wills during the pandemic. However, it warned that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of people still do not have their affairs in order.

Of those surveyed, just 29% of those surveyed have an up-to-date will.