The Digital Age
The Digital Age pervades all aspects of life presenting many new legal concepts and challenges. At Wedlake Bell we advise on what the digital revolution means in practice for private individuals and businesses, and the tension between the free flow of information and the right to privacy.
DIGITAL ASSETS- protecting and managing your digital estate
We advise on the succession to, and taxation of, your digital assets, including crypto currencies and social media accounts. We advise on what action needs to be taken in your lifetime to manage your digital estate, how on-line contracts and licensing agreements dictate what you can and cannot do and how you can successfully enable your executors to control your digital profile and assets as you would like on death.
The use of information about living individuals, whether they are customers, suppliers or employees, is highly regulated. In particular, the UK General Data Protection Regulation (“UK GDPR”) confers a number of rights upon individuals and imposes standards on businesses and other legal entities, including estates and trusts. The UK GDPR includes a range of sanctions for those that fail to comply with their obligations, including substantial fines. Our dedicated data protection team advises a broad range of organisations on their data protection compliance obligations as well as individuals whose rights have been infringed. In addition we have established Pro DPO (www.prodpo.com). Pro DPO provide an outsourced Data Protection Officer (DPO) to those businesses that are required to have a DPO by the GDPR. It relieves companies of the need to employ a full or part-time DPO, providing a very efficient, cost effective and secure way of keeping GDPR compliant.
TRUSTS AND ESTATES
We advise trustees and executors on their responsibilities arising from holding personal data on beneficiaries, settlors and testators, and their obligations and boundaries under general law and UK GDPR to protect this data. A number of regulations have been introduced to clamp down on international tax evasion and insider dealing, including Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) regimes such as the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”), and the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”); the Legal Entity Identifier (“LEI”) rules and the completion of HM Revenue & Customs’ Trust Register. These compliance and information disclosure obligations risk putting details about estates and trusts into the public domain in the “interests” of transparency and are often at odds with the right to privacy. We advise on the privacy issues emanating from the myriad of regulations, the challenges these present to executors and trustees, and the steps to be taken to comply with these regulations whilst keeping private family structures private.
We offer bespoke client data room facilities to allow the secure holding and sharing of data and documents with carefully managed access given to chosen members of the family and other professional advisers and interested parties where appropriate.
eprivateclient: What happens if IHT is owed on digital assets but the family has no access?
Associate Andrew McIntyre has explored the issue if inheritance tax is owed on digital assets but the family has no access to them in his recent article published in eprivateclient.… Read more →
Riding the Cryptowave with circumspection
With El Salvador recently announcing the formal adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender and central banks around the globe experimenting with their own digital currencies, it is no longer possible… Read more →
Like it or not, traditions such as letter writing, cheque payments and photograph processing are dying out and, together with a global social media obsession, we are fast accumulating valuable… Read more →
Crypto-Assets – a Trustee Perspective
Is the mainstream adoption of crypto-assets inevitable or even likely? According to Elon Musk, not until the industry goes greener, by moving mining transactions on a more sustainable footing. In… Read more →
Ask Ollie – Do my Digital Assets pass under My Will?
Physical assets (unless used solely for business purposes) such as computers, USB sticks and mobile phones are ‘Personal Possessions’ and will pass under your Will. Intangible digital assets are more… Read more →
Digital Assets and Personal Data
We are holding increasingly valuable items online, but the law as to how such items pass on our death is far from clear. Digital assets can include software, downloaded content,… Read more →
Estate Planning for the Complex Client seminar on 14 May 2019
On 14 May 2019, Caroline Miller and Clare Armitage from our Private Client Team, Conrad Adam from our Family Team and Edward Craft from Corporate, hosted a seminar on Estate… Read more →
Caroline Miller and Clare Armitage: Advising complex clients – Professional Adviser 29/04/2019
As clients become increasingly global and sophisticated in their asset base, the issues that advisers must consider become ever more complex, write Caroline Miller and Clare Armitage. The digital era… Read more →
Digital legacies need legal protection say lawyers
Solicitors and legal academics have called for new powers enabling people to decide what happens to their digital legacy when they die, including by making a provision for online data… Read more →