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Murray Beith Murray is a leading Scottish private client law firm.

For over 170 years we have specialised in meeting the legal, financial and administrative needs of individuals and families, family trusts, charities and private companies.

Call us today on 0131 225 1200
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5 minutes reading time (1080 words)

Can you inherit a valuable social media account?

andrewIn the digital age, social media is big business. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world earn a living from social media accounts as ‘influencers’ or brand owners, and the accounts themselves accrue commercial value. However, the issue of whether a social media account can be passed on or inherited presents an entirely different set of circumstances than passing on other valuable assets. In this article, we look at how social media accounts may be passed on, and the steps you can take to protect these valuable assets. 

Different types of valuable social media accounts 

As touched on above, there are many different types of valuable social media accounts across multiple platforms. 

Influencer accounts 

Influencer accounts typically focus on an individual, which can make it difficult to pass on after that individual’s death. Certain social media platforms prevent passing on personal accounts when a person has died but allow a ‘legacy contact’ to control the account. Also, most popular, and therefore valuable, social media accounts are owned by younger people, so dealing with them as part of an estate is relatively new and thankfully rare. 

Entertainment accounts 

There are also many social media accounts that are not centred around an individual, but provide entertainment, education, or information. These are often bought and sold, making it easier to pass on at least the value of these accounts, if not the accounts themselves, to beneficiaries of a Will.

Brand accounts 

Brand accounts are typically tied to a brand or business and therefore may be passed on in the same way as other business assets. You can plan to pass on brand social media accounts as part of your business succession planning process.

Making a succession plan for valuable social media accounts

If you have valuable social media accounts, you should consider what may happen to the accounts should you pass away. You should include such assets and your wishes when estate planning, which may include passing on details of how to access such accounts to someone you trust. Different social media platforms may also have options for you to indicate what you wish to happen to your account after you pass away or allow another person to access the account in the event of your death. 

Choosing a digital executor 

If you have social media accounts of value, it is useful to appoint a capable digital executor. A digital executor is responsible for dealing with the digital assets of your estate, including online accounts. If you do not have someone close to you who you trust to carry out this role, you can appoint a professional to assist you. 

Specialist Estate Planning Lawyers, Edinburgh

Murray Beith Murray Partner, Andrew Paterson, is a specialist in estate planning and asset protection. If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in this article, or if you require assistance with any other matter, then please complete our contact form or call us on 0131 225 1200.

Murray Beith Murray was established in 1849, as advisors for generations of clients, committed to our values of integrity, expertise and trust. This aim and these values continue to this day as does our commitment to be here when you need us

In the digital age, social media is big business. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world earn a living from social media accounts as ‘influencers’ or brand owners, and the accounts themselves accrue commercial value. However, the issue of whether a social media account can be passed on or inherited presents an entirely different set of circumstances than passing on other valuable assets. In this article, we look at how social media accounts may be passed on, and the steps you can take to protect these valuable assets. 

 

Different types of valuable social media accounts 

As touched on above, there are many different types of valuable social media accounts across multiple platforms. 

Influencer accounts 

Influencer accounts typically focus on an individual, which can make it difficult to pass on after that individual’s death. Certain social media platforms prevent passing on personal accounts when a person has died but allow a ‘legacy contact’ to control the account. Also, most popular, and therefore valuable, social media accounts are owned by younger people, so dealing with them as part of an estate is relatively new and thankfully rare. 

Entertainment accounts 

There are also many social media accounts that are not centred around an individual, but provide entertainment, education, or information. These are often bought and sold, making it easier to pass on at least the value of these accounts, if not the accounts themselves, to beneficiaries of a Will [LINK].

Brand accounts 

Brand accounts are typically tied to a brand or business and therefore may be passed on in the same way as other business assets. You can plan to pass on brand social media accounts as part of your business succession planning process.

 

Making a succession plan for valuable social media accounts

If you have valuable social media accounts, you should consider what may happen to the accounts should you pass away. You should include such assets and your wishes when estate planning [LINK], which may include passing on details of how to access such accounts to someone you trust. Different social media platforms may also have options for you to indicate what you wish to happen to your account after you pass away or allow another person to access the account in the event of your death. 

Choosing a digital executor 

If you have social media accounts of value, it is useful to appoint a capable digital executor. A digital executor is responsible for dealing with the digital assets of your estate, including online accounts. If you do not have someone close to you who you trust to carry out this role, you can appoint a professional to assist you. 

 

Specialist Estate Planning Lawyers, Edinburgh

Murray Beith Murray Partner, Andrew Paterson, is a specialist in estate planning and asset protection. If you would like to discuss any of the issues covered in this article, or if you require assistance with any other matter, then please complete our contact form or call us on 0131 225 1200.

Murray Beith Murray was established in 1849, as advisors for generations of clients, committed to our values of integrity, expertise and trust. This aim and these values continue to this day as does our commitment to be here when you need us

 

Pensions and estate planning
The Times: Murray Beith Murray ‘commended for inhe...

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