The New York Times ran an article on May 20th with some good legal insight into the issues surrounding death online. We’ve talked about the need for a “digital executor” before, but Patricia H. Char, a lawyer with K&L Gates in Seattle, warns that isn’t enough. Without a durable power of attorney document your executor may be accessing your accounts illegally, and that opens all sorts of issues, especially if other relatives accuse them of misuse.
Read more from the New York Times: When Others Need the Keys to Your Online Kingdom
Also on May 20th, WWAY in Wilmington, NC aired a story called Online After Death.
I’m not an attorney, but I have been told by our attorney that a “durable power of attorney” is only a legal document while the person is alive. Once the person passes, the POA is no longer usable. Control of the testator’s estate passes to the executor.