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Pass Along Passwords When You Pass Away

(File photo. Credit: Getty Images)

(File photo. Credit: Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - When you pass on, who gets your passwords?

Your loved one may have been quite clear about who should receive her worldly possessions upon her death. But who gets the virtual possessions? What does the law say about who gets to read granny’s emails when she’s gone?

Simply naming a person in charge of your estate in your will actually will not necessarily give that person the right to get control of your email accounts. Control over a deceased person’s electronic footprint will be governed by the terms of use to which the now deceased owner agreed when she set it up — you know, the thing you click I agree to without reading.

Gmail makes you provide the name of the person whose account you want, along with email address and death certificate before deciding whether to give it to you; but upon submission of the death certificate to Yahoo!, the account will be deleted not given to anyone else.

In any event, here’s a solution. If you know you want a person to have access, pass along your passwords along with your pots and pans.

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