Who shall I leave my iTunes account to?

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Shall we start the day with something light and cheerful? How about making a will? Never a subject that’s likely to be a topic of conversation at a dinner party, but an important issue all the same. It may seem a little odd to bring this up now, but the whole area has taken an interesting twist this morning with the publication of new research.

A survey has shown that online users are leaving internet passwords in their wills as Britons amass a £2.3 billion digital inheritance. Apparently, 25 per cent of those polled have more than £200 worth of films, video and music stored online. Nearly a third of people consider the sum valuable enough to be passed on to loved ones, with 11 per cent already putting internet passwords in their wills.

Now, you could take this all with a pinch of salt, but if there was any question about the power and influence of the world wide web, then the dawn of ‘digital inheritance’ has pretty much answered that one. Gone are the days when worldly possessions are simply physical items – boxes of old photos, dusty LPs and mountains of hardbacks. It’s scary to think, but so much of our lives is now contained online; the music we listen to, the memories we capture and the culture we consume have become virtual.

It may seem ridiculous to imagine these words being said: ‘I bequeath my iTunes password to my cousin Roger’, but with more and more of our treasured possessions taking on a digital persona, who knows what’s likely to be uttered at a will reading in years to come.

As someone who’s at that awkward age when you know you really should be writing a will, but still kidding yourself that you’re invincibile, the task of deciding what’s worth passing on has become all the more complicated. Now, who shall I leave my Flickr account to?