Tag Archives: Digital assets

MySpace – Does this digital space stay mine forever?

The simple answer is yes.  If no action is taken, your account will remain in cyberspace forever.

However, the MySpace account of someone who is deceased can be cancelled by their next of kin (mother, father, spouse, domestic partner, son or daughter).  That person will need to send proof of death (obituary or death certificate) to accountcare [Email address: accountcare #AT# support.myspace.com - replace #AT# with @ ].  That email should come from the personal email account of the person who is writing.  It should include an explanation of that person’s relationship to the deceased and the deceased’s MySpace friend ID (which can be found by clicking on the profile and copying the string of numbers or letters at the end of the URL) as well as the specific request to delete the profile.

Other options available are to preserve the profile as is or to remove some of the content that may no longer be appropriate.  MySpace will be glad to remove any content that is found objectionable.

Another choice is to create a memorial for the deceased – a group page to honor that person.  That page is then linked to the deceased’s MySpace profile.

If there is access to the email account tied to the deceased’s MySpace profile, the password can be obtained thru the Forgot Password link located on the MySpace home page.  If there is no access, the password will not be provided by MySpace.

To learn more about how to protect digital assets, check on our book “Grave Robbers…How to stop identity theft of the deceased.”

PayPal – How can I cancel a deceased’s online account?

Only the executor of the estate can close a PayPal account that is held in the name of the deceased.  To do so, the executor must fax the following documentation to 402-537-5732: 

1) A cover sheet that says the account holder is deceased and the executor wishes to close the account.

2) A copy of the account holder’s death certificate.

3) A copy of the deceased account holder’s will or other legal documentation that provides verification about the executor.

4) A copy of a photo ID of the executor.

The faxed documentation will be reviewed and, if approved, the account will be closed.  If funds are available in the account, a check will be issued in the account holder’s name, and the Executor of the Estate will then have the ability to cash the check.

What if somone wants the deceased’s password or access to the account?

According to PayPal, any requests for information about an account other than to close it must be obtained through a subpoena.

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

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If the account is not cancelled, it will probably just remain inactive forever.

LinkedIn – Do you stay linked to this online network after death?

If you do nothing, the deceased’s account will be removed by the folks at LinkedIn after being inactive for at least six months.

However, it’s easy to cancel the account.  You don’t have to be the next of kin or executor; in fact, you don’t even have to be a blood relative.  A friend or coworker can do it.

LinkedIn recently updated their procedure and now indicates all of the steps on their website.    Go to http://www.linkedin.com/and click on the link to Customer Service at the bottom of the page.   A list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) will appear.  Look for the one which says “Form: Verification of Death”.  Just complete the form and then follow the directions on how to return it.

If, instead, you just want to get the deceased’s password, you’re out of luck.  Unless you have access to the deceased’s primary LinkedIn email account and can request that it be sent there, you will be unable to receive a password for the account.

To learn more about how to handle online accounts once someone has died, get our book “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”

Facebook – Do you remain in cyberspace forever?

If a loved one has left his or her login information – user name and password – where you can find it, there’s no problem. All you have to do is the following:

1) Open the account that you want to delete.

2) Go to Account Settings.

3) Look for the Deactivate Account button at the bottom of the page.

4) Just click on it and the account is deactivated.

Another option is to memorialize the account.  This means that certain sensitive information is removed from the account and privacy is set so only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in a search.  The Wall remains so these friends and family can leave posts in remembrance.  To memorialize an account, go to http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fhelp%2Fcontact.php%3Fshow_form%3Ddeceased&h=e5091bd54d848d4ca97832694b87dcd0.  This will bring up a list of Facebook FAQs; one of them says “I’d like to report a deceased user or an account that needs to be memorialized.”  Within that FAQ is a link to the correct form where you will need to enter the information requested.

Facebook says  “that in order to protect the privacy of the deceased user, we cannot provide login information for the account to anyone.”  They do claim to honor requests from close family members to close the account completely; however, we were unable to find any information on how to do so. 

Perhaps the deceased’s account will remain in cyberspace forever!

If you’d like to learn more about digital assets, check out our book “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”