What happens to your GMail, Facebook accout after your death ?

A random thought came to my mind today as I was trolling the web..

  'what happens to my Gmail, Facebook accounts after I die ?'

That of course is not the pleasant thought, but forewarned is fore-planned :p !


As for physical assets, like your property, bank accounts which are well documented by law you have the provision of preparing a will ie. instructions of disposition of one's property after death.

But in case of digital assets like email accounts, social networking accounts or any web profile, the account is not well documented. Furthermore there may be tons of sensitive and confidential data in one's email account. Say for example your facebook account may have private photographs. What happens to them when you die?
Who bequeaths them? 

The only key to access this information is your user-name and password. And this is not the thing people usually remember to tell to their kins when they are on deathbed!  Even in case you wish to do this and fortunately remember this on your deathbed, what's the gurantte that you will die in a hospital , surroundedd by your kins.. the typical bollywood style. You may have an accident ! Enough, I am done with torturing you with thoughts about your untimely death. Lets get back.

Remember, eveything that comes out of your keyboard is permanent on the web. It's going to stay forever , somewhere. After a certain period of inactivity, the domain may choose to deactivate the account, or may be it will continue to exist. But if you have really sensitive, confidentail information, you really dont want this to happen.


Services like Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, MySpace have policy to transfer the deceased account to his/her kin. All you need is to confirm to their legal requirements. This includes providing the death certificate, legal document proving that you are the kin of the deceased and certain other documents.

So be prepared for your death, I really dont want to say that .. but cant help.. :)

Give the following to a designated person:
• An inventory of all your websites and online accounts
• A list of passwords, user names, answers to security questions and other log-in information
• Expiration dates and/or renewal instructions for domain names
• Instructions on how each account should be managed, saved or deleted

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