Should a will be made to control our digital past?
Inheritance law must also be adapted to the social reality in which we live and to new technologies. Currently, there is a need to grant a digital will to ensure who will be in charge of our digital profiles at the time of our death in order to avoid future controversies.
What is Digital Inheritance?
The digital heritage is nothing more than that personal patrimony that a person has in the network, they are not tangible goods, but virtual, and only the holder of the same one has access by means of a secret password of personal character.
As our lawyers specializing in inheritance will assure you, it may seem absurd to include testamentary clauses to institute a person to inherit the digital profile of the deceased, but in the social reality in which we live, there are more and more digital profiles that we have, but the most important thing: our private life is increasingly focused on the digital world due to our continuous activity in the network. That is why it is very important to take into consideration the virtual heritage when making a will.
What is a digital will?
A digital will is the document that collects and specifies the person's digital possessions, indicating keys, users, passwords, identifying the person authorized to use it and manage it when the owner dies.
What is included in this digital heritage and identity?
- Electronic mail,
- Instant Messaging applications (e.g. Whatsapp)
- Social Networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.,
- Library, music: like ebooks, downloaded music, spotify, etc.),
- Storage of files in the cloud,
- Money on online gambling sites, and
- You have Bitcoin.
How should we organize our digital heritage?
Within our will we should emphasize this heritage and digital identity and establish who will be the heirs to it. Our firm advises to make an exhaustive record of all the accounts, profiles and records that the testator has on the Internet, expressly indicating the access password to each one of them, but above all to determine who will be the person who will be in charge of its administration and what you want to be the destination of the digital heritage once the testator dies.
What steps should I follow when it comes to managing my digital heritage?
- Determine in the will what is the digital identity heritage we have.
- Determine the person in charge of this heritage.
- Establish the purpose that person should give to the digital heritage of the deceased.
- Establish a digital executor, where he or she is granted a series of powers such as the closure of social networks or determine that the executor is the one who will provide his or her heirs with access to them.
What ways do I have to grant a digital will?
There is the possibility of using the same notarial will to collect the digital inheritance of the same, so that we leave before a notary all the passwords, keys, users and information considered necessary to carry out the task entrusted. In this case it is clear that we could not change users and passwords, since then the digital will would not be useful, or we have the possibility of updating that document every time it undergoes some modification.
Where and how is Digital Inheritance regulated in Spain?
In our legal system, reference has been made to digital inheritance within the Data Protection Act in Article 2.4 which expressly states that "persons linked to the deceased, for family or similar reasons, may contact those responsible for the files or processing that contain data on the deceased in order to notify the deceased, providing sufficient evidence of the same, and request, where appropriate, the cancellation of the data".