I was reading the Philadelphia Inquirer this weekend and came across an interesting article in the business section. As a result, I decided to take a break from the typical commercial litigation or real estate post and ask you this: When you die, what happens to all of the pictures you posted on Facebook or Instagram? Who takes over your Gmail account? Would you like your children to be able to access these pictures? Have you ever asked yourself these types of questions?

Lucky for us, Karen Dilko’s July 1, 2013 article sets forth the different policies by several media giants. If you are with Yahoo, you are out of luck. There is no right of survivorship. When you die, Yahoo will delete all account information upon presentation of a death certificate. That seems harsh, no? Luckily, it is different with other providers such as Facebook or Twitter. These entities will work with your estate to transfer ownership.

The take away here is that we need to think what we want to do with our digital life and plan accordingly as if this is any other physical asset. Perhaps we should provide the attorney who drafted our will with user names and passwords to be held in a safe with a note “To be distributed to executor” when will is probated? Maybe you are not comfortable with this idea, but the point is that you need to think about your digital life and online accounts and how they are to be handled after you die. Please click on this link to read the article that prompted this post. You should also feel free to contact us at Danziger Shapiro if you would like to discuss this further.

This entry is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

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