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.

Recent Headlines

4 hours ago in Entertainment

Cosby’s wife must give deposition in civil suit, judge rules

cosby

Bill Cosby's wife will have to talk to lawyers bringing a defamation lawsuit against the comedian but cannot be compelled to reveal private conversations with her husband, a federal judge has ruled.

4 hours ago in Viral Videos

Betty White reviews ‘Deadpool’

14-overlay-6

The "Golden Girls" star gives Ryan Reynolds and his red leather suit an enthusiastic thumbs up.

4 hours ago in Music

Keith Urban says Nicole Kidman saved his life

kidmanurban

The actress will always be her husband's heroine after she saved his life by urging him to get help for a drug and alcohol addiction.

4 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Deadpool’ is a nasty piece of fun

17-overlay-6

The anticipated film flips the bird at the Marvel formula, turns Ryan Reynolds into an avocado, and offers a most agreeably childish R-rated film.

4 hours ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Kids explain love

19-overlay-3

Love is difficult to put into words.