Wednesday, May 23, 2012
A person might want to consider leaving personal access information to a loved one to ensure that person's family can access his or her online email accounts. If a person does this, it is probably a good idea to leave his or her information in a secure location, such as with a person's attorney or in a safe deposit box. However, if a person fails to leave his or her personal information, that person's loved ones can still obtain access to his or her email accounts so long as they meet the requirements set forth by the major email carriers. For example:
- To access a user's gmail account, a person's loved must show the company a good amount of personal information, such as the user's death certificate and proof of an existing power of attorney.
- To access a user's hotmail or AOL account, the companies require proof that the requesting party is next of kin. The company will then provide a CD with the user's emails.
- To access a user's yahoo email account, a party needs to provide the company with a court order granting access.
See Gaining Access To E-Mail Following A Relative's Death, ElderLawAnswers, 2012.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.