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Needle meets digital haystack

Personal representatives have a significant role to play in an area of estate planning where best practice and case law are still at their infancy

1 October 2015

The discussion around so called digital legacies has gathered considerable pace over the past few years. It reflects the reality of the modern world, where many people now have a significant online existence, whether this is purely social or for the storage of data or management of assets.

For the private client practitioner, the practical difficulties in establishing the assets owned by a deceased individual has always been a problem, even in the pre-digital era. The fear now is that the online world presents a further gloom into which the personal representative (PR) must rummage, and where serious thought must be given to:

  • What sort of assets or data may be shielded from immediate view;

  • How best to impart information to personal representatives; and

  • How information may ultimately be accessed after death.

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