The average person has 100 passwords, which is tough enough to remember whilst we’re alive, but imagine the challenge you leave your loved ones when you’re not.
What would your family do if you died without leaving them a list of passwords?
They won’t be able to access all the information you have online like your email, banking, contacts, and also your social media (including photographs).
A recent check on my own iCloud storage had over 50GB of data consisting of 2,388 photos, 378 videos, 22 Notes, 5 email accounts and hundreds of contacts (to many to count) and this is just on my phone!
After checking the digital legacy after death policies of the big Social Media & online trading companies, you basically have 3 options;
Memorialise their accounts
Delete their accounts
Leave their accounts open
inc GMail & YouTube
Google have a two stage process and say they may be able to release account content to an authorised representative but only after a lengthy process and careful review. They will require the following information:
• full name
• postal & email address
• a copy of photo identification (i.e. passport or driving licence)
• gmail address of the deceased together with the full content of an email you have received from that address
• the death certificate of the deceased
Inc Outlook, HotMail, Live, MSN, Skype
You can request to access or close a Microsoft account using the Microsoft Next of Kin process. This includes emails, address book and contact list.
You need to email the Microsoft Custodian of Records at [email protected] to start the process. You will be asked to provide copies of supporting documentation.
Please note Microsoft accounts expire after two (2) years of inactivity.
Apple will require the person’s next of kin to obtain a court order that names them as the rightful inheritor of their loved one’s personal information.
They will require the court order specifies the following:
• The name and Apple ID of the deceased person.
• The name of the next of kin who is requesting access to the decedent’s account.
• That the decedent was the user of all accounts associated with the Apple ID.
• That the requestor is the decedent’s legal personal representative, agent, or heir, whose authorization constitutes “lawful consent.”
• That Apple is ordered by the court to assist in the provision of access to the decedent’s information from the deceased person’s accounts.
Yahoo do not release any information from an account held with them.
Yahoo states the following
“Yahoo cannot provide passwords or allow access to the deceased’s account, including account content such as email. At the time of registration, all account holders agree to the Terms of Service (TOS). Pursuant to the Terms, neither the Yahoo account nor any of the content therein are transferable, even when the account owner is deceased.”
To ask them to close the account of someone who has died you need to send a letter with your request to close the account, the Yahoo ID of the deceased, evidence of your appointment as an executor of the estate or as personal representative and a copy of the death certificate. You can post these to: Concierge Executive Escalations, Yahoo, 22000 AOL Way, Dulles, VA 20166
To notify Virgin Media of an account holder’s death, you need to complete one of the forms below;
Bereavement transfer form Click here
Bereavement disconnect form Click Here
You can ask for the facebook page of the person who has died to be removed completely or for it to be memorialised. You need to be an immediate next of kin or an executor to be able to carry out either of these actions. You will not be given access to the account itself.
You’ll need to submit a copy of the death certificate or provide alternative proof of death (obituary / memorial card) and proof of your authority to close the account (power of attorney / birth certificate / will / letter from the estate)
If you decide to have the page memorialised, it will be preserved in the same way in which it was set up.
Twitter will deactivate an account after the account holder dies if the request comes from an immediate family member or personal representative. They will not give any access to the content of the account.
You can request to memorialize or close a LinkedIn the account. If the account is closed, it can take up to 21 days to completely delete the data from their system.
Memorialize or close the account – Click Here
Report a deceased member – Click Here
Amazon can help with closing down an account (including an associate account) if you send them a copy of the death certificate.
To close a PayPal account and release any money in it, PayPal will request a letter with proof of identity, personal details and PayPal account details of the person who died.
You need to visit the eBay site and use their “contact chat”
Instagram does not have a legacy contact option, but you can make their profile into a memorial page. Contact Instagram to report the account for memorialisation. They will require proof of death to memorialise the account, such as an obituary.
Snapchat’s policy is they will not grant access to the account, but they will delete the account on proof of a death certificate.
Pinterest’s policy is they will not grant access to the account, but they will delete the account on proof of a death certificate.