Digital Records After Death

computer with padlockMany of us depend on digital accounts with various institutions, such as banks, to manage our financial affairs. We also rely on emails sent to us by these institutions. How can those who need to take over our financial affairs upon our death deal with these things? 

The article “Access to Online Accounts: Helping Your Executor and Loved Ones” makes suggestions for safeguarding your digital assets. The article suggests making a list of your user names and related information. One convenient way to do that is to use a Password Manager  -- see the article “10 Best Password Mangers of 2019” for help in learning about and selecting one of these. Password managers can be a real convenience and safeguard for you now in addition to helping after your death.

If they wish, your executor or loved ones can change the email associated with your accounts to their own once they have access. Or they can continue to use your email address. Most email accounts will stay open so long as they are active unless someone notifies the company that the account should be closed or that the holder is deceased. The account will be automatically closed or suspended when it meets the company’s policy regarding inactivity. 

Your @asu.edu email address will not be closed unless requested or if notification of the account holder’s death is received.

You can check the policy for any other email provider you may use by searching on something like “when does my xxx account expire”, where xxx is the name of your email carrier, such as Google.

For all of the non-financial things that you keep “in the Cloud” such as Facebook, Google, hard drive backups and so forth, there is an article “Is Your Digital Life Ready for Your Death?” published a couple of years ago by the New York Times that can help you plan.

Related articles:

How to Protect Your Digital Assets