Why your Skype credits could be lost – Forever!

Recently Facebook released its legacy contact feature in the UK. This is a welcome move by Facebook and highlights the importance of ‘digital legacy’.

However, our digital life and digital footprint goes beyond Facebook and Google. We have pointed out the enormous difficulties loved ones can face trying to unravel their deceased’s digital property. 

While Louise Palmer’s story is still fresh in our minds, story of Susan Rowan is surfacing digital legacy problems with another internet giant – Skype.

Susan tried to sort out her husband’s financial affairs after he died of cancer in January. She tried to close his online accounts but was faced with a long painful process of dealing with customer support centres of the online services.

Her experience with Skype left her feeling distressed. To begin with, it was difficult for Susan to contact their customer service over the phone. She had to use web chat and then they refused to refund £25.46 credit to her.

There are many more such cases of family members getting affected by lack of access to digital accounts.

At Planned Departure, our vision is to empower individual to take control of digital life and digital legacy.

The media coverages and now solution from Facebook are helpful in promoting the cause of digital legacy. The UK Law Society has advised people to leave a digital legacy after death, and an increasing number of lawyers are becoming vocal on the same issue.

There is still a long way to go and we need your support!

Please join Planned Departure or contact us for offering digital legacy solution to your clients.

Types of Wills … Let’s Break it down

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Over the next few blogs we will endeavour to shed some light on the different types of Will options available in a bid to help you decide which works best for you.
A good place to start is with couples Wills, of which there are three different types, all quite similar to each other. Joint Wills, Mutual Wills and Mirror Wills

A Joint Will is a single document that two people or more agree to draw up which generally relates to sharing their property in a particular way.

This kind of Will is particularly common amongst married couples.
These Wills are normally identical or very similar and give common benefits. They tend to dictate that the surviving spouse should inherit all their property if they die first and vice versa. After the death of the second spouse, the property is shared as specified in the document. The law treats a Joint Will as being two or more separate Wills.

Mutual Wills on the other hand occur where two or more testators make separate Wills or make a joint Will and in doing so agree to confer on each other reciprocal benefits or agree to confer benefits on the same beneficiaries.

These kind of Wills have four basic requirements and a strict standard for enforceability:

1.      The agreement must be made in a particular form.
2.      The agreement must be contractual in effect.
3.      The agreement must be intended to be irrevocable.
4.      The surviving party must have intended the will to reflect the agreement.

A Mutual Will creates a binding agreement between the two parties which prevents the survivor from changing their Will and disposing of the estate in a different way. Mutual Wills are preferred by couples in a second marriage with children from a previous relationship or marriage.

Mirror Wills are exactly that, they “mirror” each other. The terms generally are similar and complementary. This is a legal document that allows a couple (married, civil partners or unmarried) to write down their wishes for when they pass away.

In all three cases these types of Wills are convenient and cost effective and they ensure that spouses are well taken care of if one dies and that the estate is passed to his children at death.

 

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To Will or not to Will?

(DIY)Do-it-yourself may work in various aspects of our lives like plastering your living room or cleaning the dust out of your laptop.
Here are some interesting figures about Wills, DIY wills and the general attitude from the public towards them.

Children and the internet – What you didn’t know

The internet plays a major role in our lives on a day to day basis and that of our children without us realizing how long they spend online each day.

Whilst this might in itself not be a bad thing, the jury is still out on weighing the pros and cons. Key really is for parents to take responsibility of their children in terms of how they engage online.

Here are some facts and figures to show the visual seriousness of this online addiction.

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The Journey of Digital Art

With digital art starting to dominate the art industry, it’s safe to assume that some artists may have numerous art pieces, complete and incomplete that need to be organised and saved securely, especially in the case of something happening to the artist. His friends and family may not know where all these art pieces are or what the artist in question would like to do with them

Digital art in the 21st Century

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Van Gogh certainly would not have thought about it and Picasso I feel sure would have agreed had he understood the concept, however art, whether it be digital or etched on canvas, is still, very much art by definition.

Over the years the argument that digital art wasn’t an actual form of art because it was computer generated and had infinite copies without an ‘original’ has pretty much been silenced. As technology has evolved, so too has our views on digital art.

The difference between digital art and any other art form is the fact the artist works mainly with digital technology as an essential part of their art piece – gone are the paint brushes and easels of old.

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The first steps towards the evolution of art towards digital started in the 1950’s when a lot of artists and designers started working with mechanical devices and analogue computers.

Bear in mind during those times computers were very expensive. Only research laboratories, universities and large corporations could afford them. Regardless of these constraints, when the computer came into existence that’s when digital art started emerging.

From digital painting to animations, digital photography and 3D models, movies and games, they all come under the category of art. On the plus side they are accessible, on the downside there is no such thing as an original digital art form.

With digital art starting to dominate the art industry, it’s safe to assume that some artists may have numerous art pieces, complete and incomplete that need to be organised and saved securely, especially in the case of something happening to the artist. His friends and family may not know where all these art pieces are or what the artist in question would like to do with them.

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As with all digital assets, digital art is yet another facet which needs to be protected, stored and effectively passed on. I can think of nothing worse than an unfinished Rembrandt entombed in the ether for no one to access and enjoy….