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Warning as most people forget to include these important assets in their will | Personal Finance | Finance

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Just over one in ten people with wills have included one or more digital assets, new research shows.

New research from Canada Life found that half (49 percent) of UK adults have a will, and just 12 percent of those have included at least one digital asset.

Digital assets include things like physical devices such a smartphone, laptop, or tablet as well as soft assets such as photos, subscriptions, and social media accounts.

Of the sample of 2,000 UK adults surveyed 92 percent of those aged over 55 had a smartphone but only seven percent included it in their will.

Similarly, despite 69 percent of respondents having a social media account only nine percent included it in their will.

Nine percent of those surveyed said they owned Bitcoin and six percent included the asset in their will, a much higher proportion.

Young adults aged 18-34 are more likely to include their eBooks and photos/videos stored on an electronic device (33 percent) in their will.

Around a third (37 percent) have not considered their digital assets when drafting their will. Many UK adults don’t believe their digital assets are valuable enough to include in their will (29 percent). 

Others do not worry about what happens to their digital assets (21 percent) and have left it to someone else to take care of (four percent) or have left instructions/passwords (19 percent).

Stacey Love, technical manager – Tax, Trusts and Estate Planning, Canada Life said: “For those with a will, it’s important to review it every so often so you can check that it still reflects your wishes. You may have made it some time ago, and circumstances could have changed since. The prevalence of digital asset ownership for example.

“On the surface, it may seem as though digital assets do not have ‘value’, and as such may not need to be included in a will. It’s important to remember though that data is the new currency, and some assets such as digital photos will be priceless to family members.

“The most important thing is to make a will in the first place if you don’t have one. March is free wills month, and many organisations offer a writing service for free. Make sure you take stock of all digital assets as well as your physical assets as part of this.”

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