Many sites make it very difficult for anyone other than the account holder to access accounts and that can create problems for your Executor and Beneficiaries unless you plan in advance.
Have you taken steps for the disposition of Your digital assets after death?
- Created a secure list of digital assets?
- Designated heirs and a Digital Executor?
- Decided which assets are transferred to heirs and which are deleted?
- Legally protected your digital assets?
Digital assets are an individual’s electronic possessions, including virtual property such as e-mails, digital photos, videos, tweets, texts, songs and e-books, as well as online account information for websites or programs such as Facebook, LinkedIn, bank accounts, PayPal and any others. — What Happens to Your Digital Assets When You Die?
Google Gives Users ‘Digital Wills’ For Data
Dubbed “data-after-death”, the official Google facility is formally known as inactive account manager and lets users tell the company what to do with email messages and other data if their account becomes inactive. The feature is called Inactive Account Manager — not a great name, we know — and you’ll find it on your Google Account settings page. You can tell us what to do with your Gmail messages and data from several other Google services if your account becomes inactive for any reason. — Plan your digital afterlife with Inactive Account Manager
Google Gives Users ‘Digital Wills’ For Data Notes
Unfortunately, the new option does not allow its user to control the disposition of their accounts after their death only the data. So, think of it in this manner. A user can only transfer their emails, not the ability to email from their account. — Geoffrey A. Fowler, Google Lets Users Plan ‘Digital Afterlife’ By Naming Heirs
Because of U.S. privacy laws and other concerns, many major Internet services don’t allow people to pass control of accounts along to other people, even if they stipulate it in a will. Most Internet companies handle after-death data and account control differently and lawmakers are increasingly looking into digital property legislation.
Here’s a guide to how some major Internet companies handle the accounts of the deceased as of the end of 2012. Included are: Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Tumblr, Twitter, Linkedin. — What To Do Online When a Loved One Dies
Entrustet is a free, secure online service that helps you organize and prepare last wishes for your digital assets. Entrustet allows users to maintain a secure portfolio of online assets, nominate heirs and manage asset distribution and deletion. SecureSafe is now responsible for all current and future Entrustet customers.
Your highly secure online storage for files and passwords: SecureSafe
NOTE: You’ll notice that WordPress.com is not listed among the other services mentioned in the WSJ article linked to above. See here for information provided by WordPress.com Staff.