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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
7/18/2014
Internet after death

It won't matter to the deceased.

But it can be a heck of a mess for those left behind.

They'll appreciate well-organized files, with account numbers, passwords and the like in order to tidy up.

It's often left to family to close email accounts and deal with online subscriptions and similar Internet business established by the deceased.

This is difficult to do without a list of accounts and passwords to enable access. Sometimes it isn't just cleaning up that type of business, but many people keep the details of their lives in electronic devices these days. It might be a cell phone with a list of contacts who would want to be notified. It might be a computer with files of electronic pictures.

The Uniform Law Commission, which is responsible for helping to standardize state laws, has endorsed a plan giving a deceased's representative access to, but not control of, a deceased's digital accounts, unless a last testament provides other instructions.

For the plan to become effective, it would have to be made a law.

Undoubtedly, laws pertaining to the handling of a deceased person's digital assets will be coming. But, the easiest way is for instructions to be included in wills, along with the list of accounts and passwords. It's just one more aspect of a person's life that an executor will have to deal with.

And, in most cases, it really won't matter to the deceased after death. But it makes the tidying up easier for those left behind.