Don’t stick pins in Wills! Advice from West Sussex solicitors Bennett Griffin

For once, we are not talking about actual pins or staples or paper clips!

In this digital era, we are relying on the internet more and more for everyday matters, such as online banking, shopping and keeping in touch with friends on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  The downside is that we are having to remember more and more pin numbers and passwords as a result.

This is tricky while we are alive, but after we pass away it can be a real problem for our families who try to close the various internet accounts.  Some sites, such as PayPal, actually hold our money, and it can be incredibly difficult to release that money without the password.

This had prompted many people to quote their pin numbers and passwords in their Wills.  A survey mentioned in the Law Gazette suggests that more than one in ten Wills now includes online passwords.  However, clients should be warned of the risks of doing so.  If Probate is required after you pass away, your Will will become a public document and the passwords will be available for all to see, making them vulnerable to fraudsters.

Whilst we would recommend leaving important information to help your loved ones after you pass away, we would suggest a much more secure approach.  At Bennett Griffin, we can provide our clients with a detailed form that provides instructions and useful information to the Executors of the Will.  This includes online passwords and pin numbers, as well as other confidential information about assets and the location of important documents.  We advise our clients to complete the form, and then seal it in an envelope, which we store securely with their original Wills.

Whilst on the subject of pins, we can’t resist the opportunity to remind you that you should not affix any pins, staples, paper clips or other fastenings to your original Will as it can cause problems when Probate is applied for.

For more information, please contact Jo Ostrom on 01903 706963 or jos@bennett-griffin.co.uk.