What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die?

|
What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die?
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.
Advertisement

The modern digital era brings with it a lot of new challenges. For example, what happens to your accounts, usernames, and passwords when you die?

The law has been silent on this, which has created an ad hoc mess. The truth is people often make sure that a loved one has their info. For example, we have a sheet in a lockbox where my wife has access to all my info.

But what if you don’t have any usernames or passwords before a person passes away? What do you do in that case?

Two solutions to the digital end-of-life dilemma

Delaware has passed a law to deal with this debacle and it’s infuriated the Internet powers that be. The Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act allows the estate’s executor access to all usernames and passwords without a court order, which is what it used to take.

Sounds smart to me! Florida, Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Washington are now looking at copying the Delaware statute to protect their citizens, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Google, meanwhile, has a solution of its own. They’ve rolled out the poorly named Inactive Account Manager as a feature if you’re in the Google orbit.

I activated my Inactive Account Manager and designated a couple trusted individuals who have access to all my Google activities. I set mine for 90 days. After 90 days of no activity on my accounts, my designees will get all my info to access everything I have on Google.

I hope Facebook will follow their lead and come up with a method to allow trusted family and friends to have access to take over a page in a similar way.

People’s web presence is so much a part of our lives now. If you are a Google person, go to Google and type in Inactive Account Manager on your Account Settings page so you can turn this on too.

We never know when we will expire, right? So this is way to make sure loved ones will be able to handle a lot of our stuff for us when we no can longer do it.

Advertisement
Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
View More Articles
  • Show Comments Hide Comments