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What Are Digital Assets?

What Are Digital Assets?
January 10, 2019 Reiss Matthews

In recent years, it is likely that you may have come across Bitcoin in the news. Like all new investments, this has paved the way for others and now there are an array of different types of virtual currency on the rising digital market.

With technology shaping our lives at an unprecedented pace, it has now become necessary to consider what digital assets you own and which of these form part of your Estate. Digital assets is usually defined as the intangible things owned with a value attached. With these assets being non-conventional (yet) and not physically present it is important that they are not overlooked when dealing with the Administration of the Estate when someone dies.

For example, what would happen to the money in your PayPal account, the loyalty points on your supermarket reward card or your Amazon account? It is clear that extra consideration needs to be given with regards to what happens to any digital assets you may own following your death.

You may want to stipulate a specific bequest in your Will leaving credits in online accounts to a friend or family member. Alternatively you may prefer for the digital assets to be liquidated and for the cash to form part of your Estate. It will also be necessary for your Executors when administering your Estate to ensure that all assets, to include your digital assets, are included when reporting the value of the Estate to HMRC for Inheritance Tax purposes.  Additionally, some die with you and are not able to be transferred, it is therefore important to look at the small print.

Reiss Matthews a Wills, Tax and Probate Solicitor at Enoch Evans LLP Sutton Coldfield branch office comments “it is important that you take the time to review your Will regularly, to ensure that your Will remains up to date and accurately reflects your current circumstances and wishes. It would also be prudent when preparing or reviewing your Will to ensure that details of your digital assets are retained securely with your Will, or on a secure database so that your Executors are able to easily locate this information and any passwords when the time comes and they are required to deal with the administration of your Estate.”

The expert lawyers in the Wills, Tax and Probate team at Enoch Evans LLP have a wealth of experience in advising upon and drafting Wills. The team are also experts in providing bespoke Estate planning advice upon how best to reduce the Inheritance Tax that will be due on death.  The Department is accredited by the Law Society for membership of its elite Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (‘WIQS’).

If you wish to discuss the above in more detail, the making of a Will or undertake a review of your affairs, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our Wills, Tax and Probate team who will be more than happy to assist you.

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