How To Control Online Accounts After Death - WSPA.com

How To Control Online Accounts After Death

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Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo, Youtube, You're online footprint can be larger than life, but ask yourself, have you ever thought about what happens to your online presence after you pass away?

"No I haven't really," admits Kellyn Walker in Spartanburg. She is certainly the norm.

But now Google is spear-heading what may become a trend. It's allowing users to designate "trusted contacts" who can see your data, or in the least be informed you're no longer using the account.

You can also choose to have it deleted right away instead.

"That's a great idea, because you never really know what's going to happen to your account once you die," said Walker.

In fact, Mary Nappi offers a prime example of why making these decisions now is key.

"With all the scams and hacking and everything, I think it's a good idea because mine was actually hacked once before," said Nappi.

Yahoo tells us you'll have to name a person in your written will if you want someone else to operate your account after death.

It's something Attorney Bill Pressley recommends, but he warns, don't include the passwords in that document.

"The reason you would not put the passcodes in the will, is the will becomes public record in about a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks after your death, they'll all be public to whoever wants to come to the Spartanburg Courthouse and look it up," said Pressley

So what happens if you don't designate anyone in your will? Federal law prohibits these online accounts from giving access to anyone else, even a close family member.

Sites like yahoo say they'll delete the account after a while. Facebook will memorialize it, allowing access to friends for viewing and posting unless a family member requests it be deleted.

As for Walker, she'd rather make the decision herself.

"I have a written will but that wasn't an option when I was making the will out, so that is one thing that I would maybe like to go back and change."

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