News

Should online accounts die when you do?

Should online accounts die when you do?

DIGITAL AFTERLIFE: This file photo shows a printout of the Facebook page for Loren Williams, now deceased, at his mother's home in Beaverton, Ore. A group of influential lawyers says it has an answer to that pesky question of what should happen to your Facebook, Yahoo and other online accounts when you die. The Uniform Law Commission was expected on Wednesday to endorse a plan that would automatically give loved ones access to all digital accounts, unless otherwise specified in a will. The legislation would have to be adopted by individual state legislatures to become law. But if it does, the bill would make “death switches” popular tools in estate planning, allowing people to decide which accounts should die when they do. “This is something most people don’t think of until they are faced with it. They have no idea what is about to be lost,” said Karen Williams of Beaverton, Oregon, who sued Facebook for access to her 22-year-old son Loren’s account after he died in a 2005 motorcycle accident. Photo: Associated Press

ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Should your emails, Web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters?

A leading group of lawyers says that families should immediately get access to everything online unless otherwise specified in a will. They are urging state lawmakers to enact their proposal so loved ones don’t get shut out as American lives move increasingly online.

The Uniform Law Commission is made up of people appointed by state governments to help standardize state laws.

On Wednesday the commission endorsed the plan for giving loved ones access to — but not control of — the deceased’s digital accounts unless a will says otherwise.

Latest News

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

roseanne

A walk down Hollywood's memory lane.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA, Virginia Assembly

Lawmakers Approve $100 Gift Cap

McAuliffe Terry 040115 (DZ)

The General Assembly approves a revised cap on gifts from lobbyists.

in Music

This week’s top alternative tracks

mumford

LISTEN: This week's top alternative songs, according to the weekly Billboard chart.

in Music

Record Store Day celebrates all things indie

recordstoreday

Record Store Day celebrates thousands of independent music stores across America.

in Music

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducts its 30th class

joanjettbilliejoarmstrong

Green Day, Joan Jett, Lou Reed, Ringo Starr and others will be welcomed as the 2015 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.