Pass the word on security/ as featured in The Daily Express

Whether you are reviewing and setting your annual sales and marketing plan, or if you.

Whether you are reviewing and setting your annual sales and marketing plan, or if you.

Whether you are reviewing and setting your annual sales and marketing plan, or if you.

Pass the word on security/ as featured in The Daily Express

Monday, March 18, 2019

People live increasingly compli­cated lives with a bewildering range of bank accounts, pensions, invest­ments and other assets, and this is making our deaths increasingly complex as well. Life is even more complex for those who are active online, as dig­ital passwords and assets could eas­ily be lost in cyberspace or stolen by ID fraudsters. Unless your loved ones can round up every single saving and invest­ment account, they risk losing tens of thousands of pounds if you die unexpectedly.

“You can’t take it with you when you go” as the old saying goes,” but you can make sure you leave every­thing in an orderly fashion.

Lost legacy

Will MacFarlane, who heads the pri­vate wealth team at law firm Royds Withy King, said everyone needs to round up a host of documents, dig­italassets and treasured posses­sions: “This might include your will, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), birth and marriage certificates, prenuptial agreements, property or trust deeds and contracts, as well as passports,insurance policies, share certificates and your property or investment portfolios.”

Increasingly, people need to look after their digital assets as well, such as online passwords for social media, banking, an investment platform and any cryptocurrency accounts.

MacFarlane suggests making records of physical assets as well,including photographs of artwork, antiques, jewellery, cars and collect­ables,memorabilia and sentimental items: “Should the unimaginable happen, such as a sudden bereave­ment, fire or a burglary, everyone needs to know their affairs are in order and they can access the infor­mation they need.”

Keep it safe

Royds Withy King offers its clients an exclusive Life Safe legacy online “vault” but there are other options.

Jenny Pierce, director at Solici­tors for the Elderly and partnerat Wards Solicitors in Bristol, sug­gested keeping a record with your family’s solicitor: “Discuss with your executors, family and friends how you would like the information to be managed then store it safely and confidentially.”

Deborah Stone, founder of Mature, which advises com­panies on products and services for older people, said some banks offer a safe deposit box, although there may be an ongoing charge plus a fee to view its contents.

Putting everything into a safe at home is another option, but this may not protect your valuables from fire or burglars. Stone said you should also consider setting up an online digital will or legacy: “This allows you to manage your online presence and assets in one place, including email accounts,website addresses, usernames and pass­words, and other relevant informa­tion,such as security questions.”

This way your family can get hold of everything it needs when the time comes. Stone added: “You can also make your last wishes known and evenleave documents, photos and messages for your loved ones.”

Stone said do not include digital passwords in your will as this becomes a public document once you have passed away, which anyone can read:“Just refer to an outside document that contains all the nec­essary information.”

Also, a digital will may not stand up in court. “Only a Last Will and Testament on paper, signed in ink by appropriate witnesses, will be legally recognised,” said Stone.

Avoid stress

Websites such as Google, Facebook and Instagram let you appoint a dig­ital heir. Stone added: “Google’s ‘inactive account manager’ feature lets you pick up to 10 trusted con­tacts who will be notified if your account goes inactive and will be given access to your data.”

Stone said the big problem with key documents is that you may not need them for years, then suddenly have to get your hands on them: “Tracking down lost documents can waste effort and money, at what is already a stressful time.”

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