What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die?

What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die?

Though maudlin to consider, it’s important to think about what happens to your email and social networking accounts when you die. Will your relatives be able to gain access, or will the accounts simply fade away? That depends.

Photo by 10ch.

Weblog MakeUseOf looks into the subject, examining several of the most popular web services out there. Email services like Hotmail and Gmail allow next of kin to access accounts of deceased individuals as long as the family can provide proof of death. Other services, like MySpace, will simply delete the account upon request. Facebook will also delete an account if asked, but also goes the extra mile and turns the user’s page into a memorial page if the family desires.

Hit up the post for more steps various email and social networking sites take when notified of a user’s death, and read up on making post-mortem plans for your online life. Would you want access to a deceased family member’s accounts, or would you rather they were just deleted? Talk about it in the comments.

Find What Happens To Your Email and Social Networking Accounts When You Die [MakeUseOf]


  • Realistically once you have access to someone’s primary email account you can gain access to their social networking accounts simply by requesting a password reset.

    When one of my cousins died recently I helped her father run through procedures to access her online account. Going through her email was important due to the number of recurring financial transactions that were recorded there. Easier to close these down quickly via email rather than try to reverse engineer them over a space of months from bank and credit card statements.

    Turning her Facebook account into a memorial page provided not only spread the news about her death, but a way for scattered friends to pay their respects, share stories and photos.

  • An amazing friend of mine passed away a little over a year ago. Unfortunately I could not make it to Her services due to being confined to my work 1500 miles away. I was truly upset that I was not able to pay my respects. Her myspace seemed to be a common place for individuals like myself. Massive amounts of comments flooded her page. My friend had no family members and was young. It was friends that organized fund raisers with the assistance of her myspace page. Because of Mypspace we were able to organize and provide her a proper barieal. Friends have turned the page into a memorial.

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