People should include digital passwords in their will to ensure executors can access vital online information, the Law Society has advised.

Recent research by the Society suggested that only 7 per cent of people fully understood the importance of digital information such as passwords, social media accounts and online or Cloud-based photos after they have died.

Of 1,000 respondents to the survey, 93 per cent of those who had a will said they had not considered including digital information in it.

Commenting on the findings, John Howe, of Yorkshire-based law firm John Howe & Co, told Business Up North: “We keep our important paperwork in a locked safe or drawer and make sure our family knows where it is and how to access it. In the internet era so much of our lives, photos, diaries, even financial assets such as PayPal or Bitcoin which may have an effect on the value of an estate, and in turn the Inheritance tax owed, is online or in the Cloud.”

While passwords can be crucial to online banking in particular, many of an individual’s other online financial dealings, such as shares and credit cards, may be password protected and these should be made available to executors.

Of those surveyed, only 29 per cent said they had up-to-date will.