Safe4 launched the Digital Inheritance Vault at the Society of Will Writers Conference in October 2015, and this has subsequently been presented at many of the Society’s regional group meetings. Members have been taking up the vault as a means of helping their clients to manage their inheritance plans and digital legacy, and many are actively promoting the facility.
At the Society’s Conference in October 2016, Safe4 will be announcing and demonstrating an important enhancement to the Digital Inheritance Vault. Described as the Asset Register, this will provide a means for each client to manage critical information that will be essential when probate is being carried out, and importantly will allow the will-writer to set up different asset classes to manage information about the appropriate elements of their client’s digital legacy.
Strict security settings will be applied to the Asset Register to ensure that no unauthrised access can be gained. Upon the death of the testator, and after suitable steps to prove identity, the client’s executor will be given read-only access to the Asset Register and the Vault, thus providing all of the requisite information required for probate in one place.
Different asset classes will include basic identity information about the client – NI number, NHS Number, etc – as well as online account details. Physical assets such as property, jewellery, motor vehicles, works of art and others can also be identified in the register, as can details of accounts with organisations such as PayPal, gambling accounts, store cards, and others that may have credit balances that would add value to the estate. Of great value will be the ability to record access details for the client’s digital devices, such as iPads, computers, telephones and others that may contain treasured memories, as well as information relating to email and social media accounts.
Ben Martin, Director of Safe4, believes that the Asset Register will add significantly to the value that the Digital Inheritance Vault brings to the end client. “Until now, the vault has been a highly effective way to store the confidential documents that make up the client’s estate plan. This in itself will have a major impact on the way in which probate is handled, reducing the time taken by 2 months or more by making all of the critical documents available in one place. The Asset Register will enhance this considerably by providing a means to store a wide range of information that may not be represented in documents, but will nevertheless be of great importance to the client’s executor and family. Unlocking social media and email accounts, allowing access to be gained to physical devices that may contain irreplaceable memories, and generally summarising a wide range of online activities in a facility that can be easily and safely updated and maintained during the testator’s lifetime will give the family a means to recover vital information that can so easily be lost.”