Our “Digital Afterlife” … what will we leave behind?


Some recent blog posts on the Safe4 website have highlighted the importance of the Digital Legacy – to a great extent this has concentrated on the quantitative aspects of the estate that we will all leave behind. One of the key duties of an executor is to ensure that the value of all assets is taken into account when determining the estate of a deceased testator. This is made much easier when all of the necessary information is in one place, and immediately accessible.

Rightly, the main focus of this exercise is to establish how many, how much, and other questions for which the answer is a number. Using the Safe4 Digital Inheritance Vault will dramatically simplify this activity, and reduce both the time it takes (probate will be shortened by as much as 4 months, according to the Society of Will Writers) and lessen the risk of missing either assets or potential beneficiaries. The vault can also be used, however, to deal with other less easily identified qualitative issues that address the question: how do we want to be remembered?

Whilst many of the things that are important to us during our lives can be represented in the form of a computer file – favourite recipes, photographs, music, family videos – we are all constantly generating content on an ever-increasing range of online systems using everyday devices such as smartphones and tablets. Email and text messages, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Skype, and a host of other online services hold information about us, and importantly say something about who we are. This will be of great value to those who are left behind, and can so easily be lost if appropriate steps are not taken to ensure that it will be made available.

The Safe4 Digital Inheritance Vault has been set up to allow the ability to access the information held in all of these systems to be captured so that it can become part of our Digital Legacy, enabling us to be confident that future generations will be able to remember us in the way that we wish.