Digital Developments in Wills

Oct 19

There is a fascinating article in the Financial Times last Friday dealing with the issue of digital assets. The article relates to the fact that many of us now have valuable online assets and that the law has not yet caught up with this development. The assets can range from music libraries we have purchased to domains and websites and even social media accounts, which can have value. The issue is complicated by the fact that it can be very difficult to value these assets as they may not be readily saleable and of course executors will not know about these assets unless the person making the will leaves a list and the associated passwords. This process is almost as important as making a will and many people do not leave a list of what they have or their liabilities and this can slow down the process of probate and add a considerable extra amount of expense.

The second digital development as regards wills we find interesting is the availability of interactive online wills. For over 10 years now there have been a large number of DIY will packs available at retailers such as WH Smith and online templates have also been available. The difficulty with these is that they are somewhat inflexible tools and mistakes can easily be made.

Among the new breed of legal services companies offering interactive wills are My lawyer, a website owned by Epoq legal which has been established in the legal documents market for over 15 years.

The way it works is that you can create a draft will without charge on the Mylawyer site. When completing the draft document you are prompted by certain questions which are very straightforward. The answers to these questions determine what is included in the will and there is also the facility to have the draft will checked and approved by a solicitor at a reduced rate of charge then for visiting a solicitor. All in all this is well worth checking out.