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What rights and duties do executors have in respect of data stored on a computer owned by the deceased?

The executor is likely to have the power to access the deceased’s computer pursuant to their powers and duties as administrator. However, the deceased’s ownership of the computer does not necessarily mean that they also owned all the rights associated with the information stored on it. They might have had only a licence to use the information, for instance a music track purchased from the iTunes Store; or they might have copied the information, for instance a digital photographic image or a digital video from someone else’s website or Facebook page. The personal representative might not have any authority to pass on any such information to any beneficiary or purchaser of the device.

Furthermore, even if the deceased did own the rights associated with the information on their device, those rights would not necessarily pass under a gift of it; they might be given separately.

If you would like a chat to discuss further, please feel free to contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.

Sophie Campbell

01637 800 306

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