When was the last time you received a bank statement through the post? Nowadays, hard copies of bank accounts and assets are seldom available. Most information is held “in the cloud” and could easily be lost after death.
Our financial statements, accounts and information are accessed online, often with different usernames and passwords. This can make it extremely difficult to access the full range of an individual’s assets.
The role of an executor is to value your whole estate and present the deceased’s most recent original will to probate after paying any debts, taxes and funeral expenses. If the executor has no idea as to the location of the original will or the total scale of the estate, there will be delays to the administration of the estate. Beneficiaries will then have to wait even longer to receive their inheritance.
Executors who access an online account without first obtaining a grant of probate should tread with caution. Unless specifically allowed by each individual account, they could be committing an offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 if they access online assets using the deceased’s passwords.
The same applies to those acting under a lasting power of attorney. An attorney cannot manage the financials of the donor if they do not know what they are or where they are located.
We can assist you in not only preparing a will and assigning lasting powers of attorney, but also in discussing your storage options.
We provide a free personal assets log so that when the time comes, your executor or appointed attorney knows where to look to begin sorting out your affairs.