Tag Archives: Digital assets

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.”