Tag Archives: Digital assets

When I Go Away: Getting Your Digital Affairs in Order

I just read an article which talks about the need to leave information about your online accounts so your heirs will know what they have to deal with after you die. It’s well worth reading for the information it provides. What it doesn’t tell you is exactly what you have to do to close out or memorialize those accounts. Grave Robbers, our book about how to prevent identity theft of the deceased, does. In addition, there’s information on our site about how to handle the most popular digital sites.

Who Owns Your Digital Assets When You Die

Digital assets are making dying even more complicated.    As more and more of our life is portrayed in a digital form, a key question is evolving in the legal community:   “Who Owns Your Digital Assets When You Die?”

The  New York Times posted an interesting article regarding your digital assets,   “Cyperspace When You Are Dead.”

Today, there are no common policies or laws covering the disposition of your digital assets when you die.    In fact, each Internet Service Provider sets their own policy.    Google is different than Facebook.   Facebook is different than Yahoo.   In some instances, businesses may find they can’t get access to hosted accounts because someone doesn’t leave behind their passwords.   You can find out the policies regarding your digital assets at Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Comcast, etc. at diesmart.com.

Grave Robbers: How to Prevent Identity Theft of the Deceased


There are three links below. The first link is a download of the form you can use to notify the state Department of Motor Vehicles of the death. The second link is a download of the forms you can use to request a death flag be added to the decedent’s credit files. The third link provides information to use for cancelling email and social media accounts.

Part 1: Department of Motor Vehicles notification form

Download this form

Click on the name of the state in which the decedent’s driver license was issued. You will be linked to the form you use to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles. Once you complete the form, print and sign it. Mail the signed form and any necessary attachments to the address listed for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Part 2. Request the credit reporting agencies add a death flag.

The link will download the forms you need to use to request that Experian, Equifax and TransUnion add a death flag to the decedent’s credit records. Once you complete the forms print and sign them. Mail the signed form and any necessary attachments to each credit agency.

Use this form if you are a surviving spouse

Use this form if you are an executor

Use this form if you are a trustee

Use this form if you are not a surviving spouse and the estate is not subject to probate.

Part 3. Internet Service Provider Policies.

Each Internet Service Provider establishes rules and procedures for handling the account of the decedent.    A summary of these rules and procedures can be found in the DieSmart Digital Asset reference table.