Friday, 10 October 2014

Wills & Estates – Glenn Duker, Solicitor and Lawyer, Discusses Digital Property

The purpose of a will is to distribute your property to your chosen beneficiaries when you pass away. We tend to think of property as tangible – even shares are represented on paper as certificates. But in our brave new world, property can take on an even more ethereal form; namely the endless procession of zeroes and ones that makes up binary code. Welcome to the 21st century, and digital property. Trust an experienced guide like Glenn Duker, lawyer, to help you protect your assets.

This issue made big headlines a couple of years ago when British paper the Daily Mail reported that Hollywood actor Bruce Willis was gearing up for a fight with Apple. Willis, the story went, wanted to bequeath his iTunes music collection to his daughters. But when he found out Apple’s terms of use prohibited this, he prepared to mount a legal battle against the company to claim what was rightfully his.

Though CNN colourfully stated that “Bruce Willis has vanquished terrorists, basement rapists and the defences of Cybill Shepherd,but in his three decades in Hollywood he may not have faced as daunting an opponent as Apple,” the story turned out to be apocryphal.  The issues it raises, however, are not.

Many of us hold quite significant assets – whether it’s photos, music, books or money – on digital platforms. A lot of us may not even consider the value of our collections, until we lose our laptop or smartphone. Online savings accounts, which often have no “paper trail” at all, can become lost post mortem if no-one but the account holder knew of their existence.

These days, digital assets can be quite a significant part of a person’s estate. Glenn Duker, solicitor and lawyer, can provide helpful advice on how to keep up with the times and include digital property in your new or updated will.

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