Getting Access To Email Of The Deceased

from the not-fun-at-all... dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about the growing issue of what happens to your online persona after you pass away. As we noted at that time, there really isn't a standard procedure for how to clean up a loved one's online accounts -- especially since most are password protected. This is becoming an issue with one family whose son was killed in Iraq earlier this year. They're now trying to get access to his Yahoo Mail account, but Yahoo refuses, noting that the terms of service say that your account can be... um... terminated upon death. The family is trying to get Yahoo to change their mind before the 90 day period which Yahoo uses to judge whether or not an account is active. After that, the entire account will be deleted. So far, it appears that Yahoo's basic response to the family is: "That really sucks, but too bad."
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  1. identicon
    ryan, 20 Jul 2009 @ 8:31pm

    im so surprised that this is not more and more of an issue as time passes since email is such a huge part of our loved ones lives. and so many more ways of holding precious last moments that the family would want to know and share. it could even sum up confusion and help them understand more n what was going on with their lives at, especially an untimely death.

    i lost me wife of 35 a week and a half a go. and the last time we spoke the night before she died(i was out of town)she was on yahoo i.m and i was texting through my yahoo account. we i.m.ed each other most of the week when i was away. she always saved her messages in her i.m. i dont remember every word but i do know one of the last things she typed was that she missed me and my son who was with me... all i want is her email password to read those last conversations i had with my wife, mother of my son and the first and only love of my life of 17yrs.

    i havent tried to call and tell them my story i can barely type this but if they cant help me i will delete my account of 10 years for good.

    the yahoo way:

    "No Right of Survivorship and Non-Transferability. You agree that your Yahoo! account is non-transferable and any rights to your Yahoo! ID or contents within your account terminate upon your death. Upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate, your account may be terminated and all contents therein permanently deleted."

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