A lengthy piece from the New York Times Magazine on what happens to your online identity after you die. Key points:
- Increasingly, people keep their most precious memories online.
- Keeping your memories online has problems, and death compounds those problems.
- Basically, we are well past the point where your loved ones can find and keep your most precious memories by searching through your house.
- If you cannot remember all of the places where you have uploaded photos (Flickr, Facebook, Shutterfly, Twitpic, Instagram, etc.), think how much harder it will be for your loved ones to find those photos after your death.
- Even if your loved ones can locate your digital memories, they may not be able to access them. Your online photos and memories do not pass to your family on your death; rather, they are governed by your terms of service.
- To date, there is no good public or private solution to these problems. In the future, we may hope for legislation that at least gives your executor access to your online accounts.
- A low-tech solution may be to keep a list of your online accounts along with your will, financial power of attorney, health care advance directive and other important documents in a safe place.