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My email address after death
Old 12-15-2017, 06:01 AM   #1
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My email address after death

Here is another stupid question but when someone dies what happens to her/his email account? Does the email address still belong to you and no other person can use that exact address?
If the payment for internet service is stopped after death will that end the persons address?
If the account is cancelled or stopped will a person still be able to email that address of a deceased person and have it go through?
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:18 AM   #2
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Here is another stupid question but when someone dies what happens to her/his email account? Does the email address still belong to you and know other person can use that exact address?
If the payment for internet service is stopped after death will that end the persons address?
If the account is cancelled or stopped will a person still be able to email that address of a deceased person and have it go through?
If you have a internet provider email address, like comcast.net, centurylink.net, etc., or a private domain email address, it goes away once payment is not made. There may be a holding period of a few months/years, but it will not be accessible almost immediately.

If you have a open email address, like gmail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com, it stays forever.

Realistically, there is probably something you check a box to that says if you do not log into it for a period of time, it goes away.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:26 AM   #3
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Realistically, there is probably something you check a box to that says if you do not log into it for a period of time, it goes away.
I know Gmail has (or had) this. I lost one account due to non use. I'm not sure about Yahoo.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:30 AM   #4
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That makes sense and I believe you answered my questions thanks Senator. Very interesting so in reality a person could be emailing a person that has died. Like a site like this you can email a person but really don't know the address of that person because you can't see that address.
Interesting and thanks.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:58 AM   #5
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:09 AM   #6
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Very interesting so in reality a person could be emailing a person that has died.
An email address is nothing more than a PO Box at a location of your choosing.

joe_random@gmail.com means there is a box labeled joe_random held bij gmail.com. If none stops by and empties the box, usually it gets canceled after a while, but that can take years. Depends on the policy of the landlord (Google for Gmail).

Paid for boxes usually shut down access when you stop paying, but that doesn't mean the PO Box becomes invalid. So a PO Box might exist and accept mail for years after someone last checked on it.

As far as I know there are also no hard and fast rules if you want access to a deceased persons e-mail account.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:13 AM   #7
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I still look in on my late husband's gmail account, though it's mostly either spam or people who mistakenly think his address belongs to a friend/colleague of theirs. (I've read some pretty interesting stuff!)

The reason I can look in on it is that we both used password managers, and so after his death I was able to log into all of his accounts, to handle closures, notifications, etc. And no, I haven't gone backwards to read 10-plus years of e-mail--that comes under the heading of "not asking questions I don't want to know the answer to."

But the handling of a person's online presence after their death is a big issue. It isn't just his e-mail--it's his well-followed Twitter account, and his professional Facebook page, and his personal Facebook account, and his web site, and his blog, and and and....
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:25 AM   #8
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When it comes to death and e-mail, I'm more concerned that I'll be missing out on all those millions those nice people in Kenya want to send me for helping them transfer their loot.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:29 AM   #9
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That makes sense and I believe you answered my questions thanks Senator. Very interesting so in reality a person could be emailing a person that has died. Like a site like this you can email a person but really don't know the address of that person because you can't see that address.
Interesting and thanks.
Yep, but even weirder is when that person answers back,
- someone else is accessing the account.
- someone else has gotten the account as it was recycled after months/years.
- dead person was on vacation and set vacation alert

I got a facebook notice about a person, I went to their page and it's still there. I didn't know the person was dead, but people's comments were weird, so I emailed a friend to ask and found out the person was dead over 9 months ago.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:40 AM   #10
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Actually I ran into this after my DF passed away and I was administering his estate.

Apparently Yahoo does not recognize court appointed Letters of Authority (ie the standard legal authorization issued by Probate courts).

Their policy is that the privacy of the deceased trumps the Probate court and that this is in their terms and conditions.

I did not dig into this too deeply in that:

#1) DF actually received email at an address of a domain that I controlled (ie "dad@gauss.org") and this would subsequently forward the mail to his yahoo account. I had his signature line setup to always use this email address and not the underlying yahoo address. He also knew to give folks the dad@gauss.org address when requested. Hi think I had set a "Reply-To" header to the gauss.org address also.

Upon his passing I just changed it so that dad@gauss.org forwarded to a new email account that was under my control.

#2) I did find his yahoo password written down and was unable to get in. This allowed me temporarily to see older mail. I suspect that yahoo would lock-out the account with the first sign of me doing this with no recovery possible.

A simpler strategy might have been to assign the recovery email address for password reset to one that was controlled by me -- assuming I could pass all the security questions.

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Old 12-15-2017, 08:44 AM   #11
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You'd think as smart as all those PhD's are that work at Google, they could figure out how to forward your mail to your new "location".
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:50 AM   #12
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My DF kept a list of his passwords and made sure we kids each had a copy. A few weeks after he died, I sent an e-mail to people who had corresponded with him in the past but wouldn't see his obituary to let them know of his death. I also kept the account open for about 6 months and replied to others who e-mailed him, then I closed the account.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:59 AM   #13
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That makes sense and I believe you answered my questions thanks Senator. Very interesting so in reality a person could be emailing a person that has died. Like a site like this you can email a person but really don't know the address of that person because you can't see that address.
Interesting and thanks.
Yup, they once said that someday there would be more dead people on Facebook than live people! Actually, Facebook recently realized that and now allows a loved one to delete an account of a deceased family member, or change it to a "memorialized" page.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:07 AM   #14
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I have had a strange experience. I recently received an e-mail from a friend who had passed away a few years ago. Apparently her account was hacked and they were using to send spam.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:15 AM   #15
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After seeing this thread, I thought I'd try logging into an old hotmail account that I haven't logged into for at least 20 years.

Surprise! It doesn't work. Oh well. So, if I had died, then hotmail wouldn't know it but they would have disabled my account anyway, due to non-use.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:49 AM   #16
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A good friend still has a Facebook page active, even though he died several years ago. His relatives were never able to get FB to remove it.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:54 AM   #17
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I've been waiting until the one-year mark to change DH's page to a legacy page, but his birthday is next week so now I'm thinking I should do it before then.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:02 AM   #18
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I'm planning to be buried with my iPad, so I'll continue to check it.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:34 AM   #19
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I'm planning to be buried with my iPad, so I'll continue to check it.
Better bring some spare batteries - I don't think a solar charger will do much good 6 feet under.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:20 PM   #20
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Better bring some spare batteries - I don't think a solar charger will do much good 6 feet under.
LOL >>> a person never really thinks about things like that or at least I haven't. Thanks for the replies and some good information.
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