Hotmail – Does it stay hot?

No it doesn’t.   If no action is taken, once 120 days with no sign in have passed, all messages in the account will be deleted and inbound mail refused.  If a customer doesn’t sign into any part of the Windows Live network during this period, the ID as well as any Messenger contact lists will also be deleted.


The deceased’s next of kin has the right to notify Hotmail about the death.  He or she will need to supply several things in order to shut down the account immediately or to gain access to the content of the account:



  • a photocopy of the death certificate

  • paperwork stating that the next of kin is a benefactor to the deceased’s estate

  • a photocopy of the next of kin’s driver license

  • a document with the account name

  • the first and last name on the account

  • date of birth of the account holder

  • city, state, zip code of account holder

  • approximate date of account creation

  • approximate last date of sign in by the deceased

 All of this information should be sent via fax to Microsoft at 650-693-7061.  Although Microsoft will not provide the password to the next of kin, their policy allows the next of kin to gain access to the content of the account (burned onto media such as a CD) upon proving their relationship.


To find out more about digital assets, check out our book, “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”

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