Google recently updated its terms of service to make it easier for the relatives of a deceased owner of a Google account to deal with the account. By checking a box, an individual can request that Google close an account, notify Google that a user is deceased, request the payment of funds from a deceased user’s account, and obtain data from a deceased user’s account. The request page is here.
Three brief points:
1. This is a a rare example of Google acting uncharacteristically altruistic instead of operating solely in its own self interest.
2. The wills I draft always have provisions permitting an executor to access the digital accounts and digital assets of a deceased individual.
3. The request to obtain data from a deceased user’s account does not apply to the NSA – they already have it.