October 2019: Will & Probate Advice with Simpson Solicitors

October 05 2019

Protect your precious online treasures

I AM sure that we all want to be remembered for the right reasons and not for causing a family dispute. The service provided by our local experts, Simpson Solicitors, goes beyond just helping you prepare your Will.

Vincent Mulcock says "It is often not money but the sentimental items that turn out to be most important to the family when someone dies. That is why our service includes help recording what is to happen to items like photos, medals, pictures and letters.”

It gets even more complicated now that a lot of our personal treasures are kept online; as shown by a recent court case.  Rachel Thompson's husband died in 2015. They had a seven-year-old daughter. After losing her husband, she realised that his most precious possession was his collection of family photos and videos.

However these photos had been taken on his smartphone and were stored online by Apple. They learned the hard way that without her husband's password they could not access them. He also had not specified who he would want to have access if he died.

This forced Rachel to spend three  years and thousands of pounds locked in a legal battle with Apple trying to get access. Although she won, she felt this really dragged out the grieving process.

Vincent explains that to avoid this upset, Simpsons will help you to be clear what you want to happen:

•  With computers and mobile phones, they can pass under your Will. So you can leave a direction as to what you'd like to happen with what's stored on them.

•  With photos, videos and music stored online, the law is less certain. These digital records are usually owned by someone else such as Apple or Facebook or Instagram or Twitter each with their own rules to comply with. So it is best to leave with your Will a list of usernames and passwords and to record who you give permission to access them when you die.”

It is not just on death that recording your wishes is important. In case you become seriously ill or suffered a serious injury, you should appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you. Digital records are yet another reason to put in place a Health Power of Attorney. Can you imagine the Kardashians not having one and their social media accounts being frozen!

Whether it is photos, family heirlooms or treasures stored online, Simpson Solicitors’ comprehensive service is all about keeping your memory alive and keeping families together by avoiding disputes. The first step is to book a FREE review meeting. If getting to their Kingswood office is difficult they offer a FREE home meeting service too. Just call their friendly team on 0117 960 8494.