Tag Archive for: WILL

What is a digital executor ?

As solicitors we are always advising our clients to make a will. A will governs what happens your assets after your death. Traditionally assets comprised of bricks and mortar and monies in bank accounts and post offices accounts. However in the 21st century not only are our assets in property and bank accounts but also are assets are held virtually such as cryptocurrency, our data and information on social media sites, and even our google photos.
In a recent case on which our office advised, the deceased died unexpectedly and the legal personal representative was trying to gather details of the assets held by the deceased. As is very common these days, all the deceased’s banking was done online, and he also held some online bank account with the likes of Revolut. His passcode and passwords were not known and it was not possible to assess his phone and laptop to get the details. The legal personal representative was seeking advice from the solicitor on how to proceed.
All this stress and additional work can be avoided if when making a will you appoint a digital executor who will be responsible for closing, memorialising or managing your accounts, along with sharing or deleting digital assets such as photos and videos. This role is an extension of the existing role of a traditional executor. This person can be furnished on your death all user details and passwords for all your accounts. A digital estate plan can be stored with your original last will.
Some practical tips to avoid the difficultly mentioned above is to
a. Start by writing a list that includes your online accounts’ basic details, including the name of the account, website, and your username or account ID.
b. Detail the password for your lap top and phone in a secure place and that your executor is informed of this location. Remember though if you update your password to update the hard copy note too.!
c. You could include a list of your digital accounts and what you would like done with these in a “letter of wishes” to be stored alongside your will.
d. It is worth backing up cherished photos or videos on a hard drive and telling one of your executors where this is located.

Social Media sites – each website has their own way of doing things.
a. Facebook enables you to appoint a Legacy Contact. For example in Facebook by searching for “Memorialization Settings” in the setting section, you can appoint a Legacy contact ( you should inform that person though before selecting them! ) This will allow the contact to close down or access your social media account after your death.

b. Apple allows you to name one or more people as legacy contacts, who are able to access your account after your death. Your chosen contact is able to request access using the access key generated when you added them as a legacy contact and your death certificate. They will then have three years to view photos, messages and any other information and to decide what happens to them.

c. Google has a feature that confirms when an account should be considered inactive (between three and 18 months), after which up to 10 people may be notified and receive your messages and emails.
If you have monies held in Cryptocurrency then it is essential that a letter of consent is held with your will, detailing all relevant website and codes that are necessary to access the said funds.
If you wish to discuss any of the above with us, do not hesitate to contact one of our solicitors in either Cahir or Cashel and we can help you


1. You decide how your assets will be distributed on your death
If you don’t make a will, you are deemed to have died intestate and your estate will be distributed according to the rules set out in the Succession Act, 1965. This means that those who will get your estate might not be whom you want.
2. Children – You chose who will look after your children if you die.
If you have children under 18 years of age, they will need guardians – that is someone who steps into your shoes and parent the children until they are 18 and make decisions about their health, religion, education etc. if both you and the other parent are involved in a catastrophic accident and pass away at the same time..
When you make a will you chose the person for this role.
Also, children cannot hold property until they are 18 years of age. You will need to appoint at least two Trustees to look after your children’s assets until they come of age.
3. Smart tax planning – by leaving certain property to certain people you may be able to maximise reliefs under inheritance tax rules and minimise the tax liability for your beneficiaries.
If you die intestate – it is predetermined who gets what and it may not be the most tax efficient way to distributing an estate.
4. You choose who handles your affairs on death rather than having the law decide
The person you choose will be your executor. If you do not make a will the rules of Court will determine who is eligible to administer your estate.
Also, who can administer your estate will be dictated by Court Rules. Again, this may see a situation arise where someone you would not want will be looking after your affairs after your death.
Peace of mind-the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are not leaving problems behind for your loved ones when you pass away is priceless. Making the first will is often the hardest.

If you want to discuss making a will contact either our Cahir or Cashel office and we would be delighted to schedule a meeting with one of our solicitors. Just do it.