Digital legacy: an important part of advance care planning

This information is sourced from the Digital Legacy Association:

More than 96% of households in Great Britain have the internet (OFCOM 2020). It is important that patients are made aware that if plans are not made for their various online accounts and their  password protected devices (mobile phones, computers etc) content held may not be accessible following their death.

Digital assets include personal photos, videos, social media accounts (eg Facebook) and online bank details. 

When digital assets are lost, feelings of ‘secondary loss’ and ‘complicated grief’ can be felt. 

Conversations with patients about their device passwords and social media accounts could form part of a holistic approach to advance care planning. The first question could be about whether anyone close knows the pincode to their mobile.

The downloadable leaflet on the right is useful to print for patients.

Please also see the  patient and carers version of this article for more information.


Royal College of Physicians: Your digital legacy - an emerging aspect of advance care planning

Published 27th February 2018

BBC Sounds: Joan Bakewell - We need to talk about death, My Digital Legacy

Published 23rd December 2017

Digital Legacy Association: Digital Assets & Digital Legacy Conversation Framework

Published 1st May 2018



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