The Right to a Digital Will - What is it and is it necessary?

It is undeniable that new technologies have a transformative impact on our environment, not only in the professional sphere, but also in our most personal sphere, which encompasses us not only as holders of information, but also transcends this intimate sphere, affecting those around us, even beyond our own death. This is why the right to a digital will comes into play.

What is the right to a digital will?

It is on this conception that the legislator has given shape to what is called the digital will which, without deviating from the basic principles of the traditional will, is a document in which it is foreseen what will happen with all the digital information of the testator, such as mail services, data storage or websites, social networks or credit and payment systems where the testator has an account opened on the Internet.

Who can use it?

There is a list of persons entitled to exercise this right:

  1. The relatives and heirs of the deceased have the right to request access to the deceased's content on the Internet. They can also propose modifications and changes, or even request the deletion of the information in question. This applies unless the deceased had prohibited this option or is prevented from doing so by law.
  2. The will may also be used by the executor of the estate, or by persons or organizations chosen or explicitly designated by the deceased.
  3. If the deceased is a minor, his or her guardian or legal representative may make use of his or her powers.
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Types of digital wills

As the name implies, this is an emergency will that covers the most urgent and compelling needs to be addressed after the death of the testator. It will usually include all the keys and passwords to handle the most critical digital information:

  • Personal email account where we store intimate information.
  • Remote or cloud storage accounts with photos, documents, contacts, etc.
  • Bank accounts, securities, investments... with an online character.

Facebook

Obviously, given the scope of the data hosted by the social network Facebook, the company itself has internal mechanisms in place to handle data in this situation.

To this end, the social network has created the figure of the legacy contact, a friend or trusted person who must be designated to manage the account after the user's death. This legacy contact has several limited options, such as changing the profile picture or writing an obituary, but will not be able to access private messages, delete photos or edit content.
Google

The giant Google has implemented the digital will via its account settings page. The data there will be deleted after a period of inactivity in the account previously chosen by the customer (3, 6, 9 or 12 days).
You can also choose a trusted person to receive all the information. Given the importance of these actions, there is a system of verification by SMS and e-mail.

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What to do with the digital will?

Once the digital will has been made, it is logically prudent to legalize it with a notary, in the same way as a classic will. This procedure will be carried out through a notary.

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