Several years ago I was dealing with the estate of a gentleman who had a serious distrust of banks so his solution was to bury his jar of gold coins in his garden. When he suddenly died it was fortunate that his widow knew where the jar was buried as it would have taken a considerable amount of effort to find the jar.
I don’t have a jar of gold in my garden but I do have irreplaceable family photos stored in a ‘cloud’, music paid for on iTunes, email accounts and a PayPal account that wouldn’t be found if my wife didn’t know about them and the passwords for access.
An increasing number of people have access to their photos, music, email, banking and investment accounts only through the internet
- One in four of users have said that nobody would be able to access their digital content after their death or incapacity, whilst
- One in three of users have claimed they would not be able to replace these digitally-stored assets if they were lost or compromised.
We all read of the serious threat from various fraud operations, so how can we protect our virtual assets? Many providers will not assist in cases of incapacity or death, so protecting your virtual jar of gold requires you to tell someone where it is locked away, but also what the passwords are.
For security purposes I would suggest safely storing a sealed handwritten list of your online assets in your fire and water proof safe, at your bank, or with your Will in the secure storage facility of your solicitors.