Wednesday 9 February 2011

Til death do us part

Not grim but sensible - the New Zealand Law Society has put out advice and a checklist for looking after your web accounts and presences after your death:

  • Identify your “digital assets”. What online accounts and information do you have stored online. Which ones are important to you or your family and friends?
  • What do you want to happen to each of these assets after your death?
  • Email: Should anyone have access to your email after your death? Do you want your email contacts notified of your death?
  • Social media sites: Do you want someone to notify your online friends of your death? Do you want your profile removed?
  • Other online sites: Do you have photos or other personal information stored online that are not accessible anywhere else? What do you want to happen to these?
  • If you want your accounts to be accessible after your death, you might consider recording your details (passwords, login, location) in a safe place. Note that providers of some services such as internet banking do not permit you to record some details. Check the wording of the agreements you have.
The advice is particularly interesting in terms of what services like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn require to close or hand over an account. Some of the requirements seem very web (Twitter, 'A link to a public obituary or news article.') and others very retro (YouTube requires that you post or fax a copy of the death certificate and a copy of a document giving the enquirer Power of Attorney over the account).

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