Digital Data - an Asset

Our lives are definitely becoming more virtual and hence it is no surprise that when you think of making a will, you also need to consider your digital data as an asset. In simple terms, your will should answer the questions like “Who gets your email id after your death?
With most of our lives going online, it is important to consider the data accumulated over our life-time as a data which should be either passed on to your legal heirs or totally destroyed. Digital data includes email accounts, social networking accounts, internet banking accounts, online photo albums, blogs and any data residing on your computer.

Why the heck would anyone want any access to your digital data? Why you should care? The reason is exactly the same with respect to your off-line assets like a house. You create a will since you do not want your legal heirs to fight over your assets and there is a good chance that they will fight over your digital data as well. I can easily think of legal fights over getting a dead writer’s un-published work or a ace photographer’s digital album or access to a extremely popular blog (which can be a revenue stream) in the event of a death.
The on-line assets are definitely more complex to come under a single umbrella of legal laws since each on-line website have different policies related to this issue. For example, gmail terms and conditions allows a legal heir to access the account if proof of death is furnished.
I reckon that in future digital data succession will become as crucial as any other offline asset succession and hence making a digital will become absolutely necessary.


  1. Well. . that was pretty interesting, you have really brought up an issue which in the times to come, will be of great importance as a large chunk of information and documents are getting digitized.

  2. Thanks Nandan for visiting the blog. You also have a nice blog.