Kudos to whoishostingthis.com for a very thorough article on digital afterlife – and thanks for including Directive Communication Systems, creator of Protect myPlans.com, in a list of sources for digital afterlife planning.
Scroll down to the infographic and you’ll get a great visual on just how big this problem is.
30 million accounts on Facebook that belong to people who are deceased.
• Twitter requires a death certificate for the deceased, a government-issued ID for the person who requests page deactivation, a statement of the relationship between the deceased and the requester, evidence that the account belongs to the deceased and links to a public obituary to provide further proof of death.
• Facebook may give you the ability to memorialize a deceased person, but you’ll need a court order and a will, or durable power of attorney sent by email. This is not the same as obtaining the disclosure of account contents.
• PayPal requires a death certificate, government-issued ID, cover sheet stating that the person is deceased and requesting that the account needs to be closed, a legally-valid will identifying the executor of the estate and a letter that specifies what to do with the money, if any, that is left in the account.
• Gmail is not going to even guarantee that you’ll be able to get access to a decedent’s account, but requests mailing a death certificate, government-issued ID, the Gmail address of the deceased and a physical mailing address.
• Yahoo accounts are non-transferable and rights to the account and content terminates upon death of the account owner.
What can you do?
Many companies offer password portals, but this doesn’t solve the problem. Accessing accounts by using a deceased person’s username and password is fraud, and if two factor authentication is in place, or facial recognition, the account may lock down permanently. As more states enact laws governing how digital assets are to be treated like property, the likelihood of estate planning attorneys, executors and well-meaning family members running into problems from trying to access these accounts.
Digital-savvy estate planning attorneys, trustees, financial advisors and forward-thinking people turn to Protect myPlans.com for help. Protect myPlans.com creates a secure online vault of all digital and traditional assets so loved ones have easy access to the information they need.
With Protect my Plans, directives are created for what should happen to social media and entertainment, email accounts, cloud-based storage and data management, and any online accounts when the Protect my Plans client passes. Protect my Plans also lets users and executors manage electronic devices such as phones, tablets, desktops, gaming systems, etc.
Learn more at Protect myPlans.com.