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
    Michael Vilain, 22 Dec 2004 @ 9:43am

    Re: Yahoo! == safe deposit box but is email == pro

    If I didn't have a key, the signed document stating I'm the executor and death certificate would be enough to force the bank to break into the box.

    I don't see how Yahoo! has a legal leg to stand on with this issue as all contracts cease with the passing of the owner of the account. If they destroy property that's part of the estate of a deceased, they're in big trouble. Now, is email property thats inheritable?

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