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Wills solicitors news – Write a will and consider online legacy

02nd December 2011

For example, in the same month that the campaign attracted publicity and public response, Goldsmiths College and web hosting company Rackspace carried out a study of new trends in will writing and found that 11% of British adults have either left or are considering leaving their online user names and passwords in their wills.

However, this is not a course of action that is seen as a welcome development by all wills solicitors.

“I would recommend not putting sensitive information in a will, but rather in a separate note stored with it or, more usefully, along with a Lasting Power of Attorney,” one specialist told Cambridge News

“Passwords may change and a note can be updated more easily. There is also an issue from a security point of view of having the information too widely available. Wills become documents of public record when they go to probate and may be accessed by fraudsters,” he added.

However, those who write a will, let alone make provision for their online identities, remain in a minority. It is thought that only 30% of people in the UK have written a will at all.

As a response, The Law Society’s Write a Will campaign was held recently in the hope of encouraging more people to make necessary provision for the future of their estates and families – although there are no official figures detailing the UK-wide response to the campaign, George Ide’s wills solicitors received instruction from around 60 people in the Chichester and Bognor area during its own Make a Will Fortnight.

As yet, The Law Society has offered no official advice on whether online user names and passwords should be left in wills, in a separate note or as part of a Lasting Power of Attorney – despite this, with society’s growing reliance on online technologies, it may well be only a matter of time.

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