Only 12% of people with a will include their digital assets

Whilst 95% of UK adults have digital assets, there is seemingly little awareness or consideration as to what should happen to these after death.

New research from Canada Life reveals that half (49%)1 of UK adults have a will, and only 12% of those have included at least one digital asset as part of their will. Digital assets include physical devices such a smartphone, laptop, or tablet as well as soft assets such as photos, subscriptions, and social media accounts.

Nearly all (92%) adults aged 55 or over have a smartphone, laptop, or tablet and yet only 7% have included their device in their will.

More than two-thirds of adults have a social media account or profile (69%), and only 9% have included this in their will.

Around one in 10 (9%) of UK adults have Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, most of which have included it in their will (6%).

Young adults aged 18-34 are more likely to include their eBooks and photos/videos stored on an electronic device (33%) in their will.

Around a third (37%) have not considered their digital assets when drafting their will. Many UK adults don’t believe their digital assets are valuable enough to include in their will (29%). Others do not worry about what happens to their digital assets (21%) and have left it to someone else to take care of (4%) or have left instructions/passwords (19%).

Stacey Love, Technical Manager – Tax, Trusts and Estate Planning, Canada Life says:

“For those with a will, it’s important to review it every so often so you can check that it still reflects your wishes. You may have made it some time ago, and circumstances could have changed since. The prevalence of digital asset ownership for example.

“On the surface, it may seem as though digital assets do not have ‘value’, and as such may not need to be included in a will. It’s important to remember though that data is the new currency, and some assets such as digital photos will be priceless to family members.

“The most important thing is to make a will in the first place if you don’t have one. March is free wills month, and many organisations offer a writing service for free. Make sure you take stock of all digital assets as well as your physical assets as part of this.”


Notes to editors

  1. Survey conducted by Opinium among a nat rep sample of 2000 UK adults between 23rd -27th February 2024


Press enquiries should be directed to:

Elle McAtamney, Canada Life, 07913 568213,

About Canada Life

Canada Life is part of a group of companies controlled by Great-West Lifeco Inc., a diversified financial services holding company headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. Through its subsidiary companies, Great-West Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Great-West Lifeco and its insurance subsidiaries have received strong ratings from major rating agencies.  Great-West Lifeco has over 38 million customers worldwide and £1.532trillion assets under administration (as at 31 December 2022).

Canada Life Limited began operations in the United Kingdom in 1903 and looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals and companies alike. As well as providing stability and security through its individual contracts, Canada Life Limited has grown and maintained its position as the market leading provider of group insurance solutions.1 Canada Life acquired Retirement Advantage on 3rd January 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition added over 30,000 retirement income and equity release customers and more than £2 billion of assets under management including a £1.5 billion block of in-force annuities to Canada Life.

Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Canada Life International Assurance Limited and Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC are authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Stonehaven UK Limited, registered in England and Wales no. 05487702. Registered office: Canada Life Place, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 5BA.

Stonehaven UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

  1. Canada Life MI & Swiss Re, 2022