Digital Legacy

With the increasing popularity of social media and online platforms, what happens to this information after your death should be treated like any of your other assets.

At St Margaret’s we know that the more we can have open conversations with our loved ones about what happens after we die, the easier this makes it.

What is a digital legacy?

A digital legacy is the digital information you create online during your lifetime that remains online after your death.

Your digital legacy can include anything you have online such as social media profiles, financial and shopping accounts, emails and digital assets such as stored photos, music and files.

What are digital wishes?

Digital wishes are instructions you leave after you die, saying what should happen to your digital legacy.

For example, you may want your social media accounts left online or you may want them all deleted. Your digital wishes are usually within a document stating how you wish your digital legacy to be dealt with.

You can also say who you would like to take care of your digital legacy. Your digital legacy can be a lot for a  loved one to deal with when you're gone, so recording your wishes could make things a lot easier for them both practically and emotionally.

Recording your digital wishes before you die gives you the chance to:

  • Protect your personal privacy
  • Decide how you want to be remembered
  • Share sentimental digital assets, such as photos, videos and music
  • Prevent future upset for your loved ones e.g. birthday reminders
  • Control who can access, save, transfer or close your accounts

How do I get my digital affairs in order?

To ensure your instructions are followed, the best thing to do is add your digital wishes to your Will. 

Within your instructions you should:

  • Name your digital executor – who you would like to manage your digital accounts and assets. If you can, check that person is happy to manage this once you’re gone.
  • List your online accounts – consider everything and make a list. You'll find below some useful documents to help you with this. Don’t include your passwords in your list! Your digital executor won’t need them to deal with your digital assets. Instead, they’ll need to contact each account service and ask for it to be closed or memorialised.
  • Document your digital wishes – you may wish for your entire digital legacy to be deleted, or you may like to pick and choose what happens to each account and asset. Include this detail in your instructions. Include details of any gifts, for example, which friends or family you would like any photographs or documents to be passed on to.
  • Storing your digital wishes – Recording your wishes in a Will is best as it’s the only way to make sure they are legally binding. Other options include leaving your wishes document with your solicitor if you don’t include them in your Will or keeping them in a safe place at home.

Here's a list of accounts and a digital wishes template to help you get started:

Digital Legacy Planning template

Don’t forget…

It’s important to keep your digital legacy up to date. When setting up a new digital account make a note, or set up regular diary reminders to update your digital wishes with any changes.

Feel free to discuss your digital legacy with a member of the St Margaret's team, we are more than happy to guide and help you. Get in touch by emailing

St Margaret's Somerset Hospice. Copyright © 2022 Registered charity number: 279473 Company limited by guarantee number: ENG 1471345. All rights reserved.

Registered Office: Heron Drive, Taunton, TA1 5HA

About our website      Our Newsletters      Privacy Statement      Safeguarding      Contact Us      Refund Policy      Sitemap