E-mail accounts, social media & Co .: Regulating digital heritage - this must be taken into account

E-mail accounts, social media & Co .: Regulating digital heritage – this must be taken into account

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© Laetitia Bezain / RFI “History of Madagascar, the building of a nation” is the result of two years of collaboration between six historians, researchers and teachers. "History of Madagascar: Building a nation" is the title of the work written by a collective of six historians, researchers and teachers well known from the Big Island such as, among others, Manassé Esoavelomandroso, Helihanta Rajaonarison or Father Sylvain Urfer, author of numerous books on Madagascar.

If a relative dies, there is a lot to organize. If you want to make things easier for the bereaved, you can arrange in advance what should be done with your estate. The digital legacy should also be considered, as contracts and memberships can continue to generate costs.

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Our lives are becoming more and more digital. In 2019 around 63 million people in Germany used the Internet - and the number is rising. For this reason, digital legacy regulations are becoming increasingly important. Users can arrange many things in advance to make it easier for the heirs to manage their digital estate.

Sanctions against Russia are primarily intended for self-affirmation. They have little effect on the addressee. © Alexander Zemlianichenko / picture alliance / dpa / AP Alexej Navalny, opposition politician from Russia, speaks to the press before a court hearing. The EU is acting helplessly What is Alexej Navalny actually doing? Alexej Navalny makes great cinema.

Good reasons to regulate the digital inheritance

If a relative is appointed as an inheritance, all rights and obligations are transferred to them. This is not only about the profiles on Facebook , Snapchat or Twitter , but also online contracts for electricity, internet or streaming services such as Netflix .

But also any income from product sales, commission links or advertising income on YouTube are part of the legacy. In addition, many people use cloud servers to save memories in the form of pictures or videos. But without the associated passwords, nobody can access these files.

How to regulate the digital estate

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As a ruling by the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) shows, the digital estate is to be treated like the inheritance of objects. However, many different areas of law such as data protection, personal rights or copyrights are affected, which can lead to problems and confusion. The surviving dependents may inherit existing online accounts, but laws that can make access more difficult also apply after the death of the account holder.

The hosting provider Godaddy sent its employees an e-mail a few days before Christmas informing them of a bonus payment - supposedly. © Eugene Onischenko / Shutterstock Gross unsportsmanlike conduct at Godaddy. The award for the most tasteless tastelessness of the year should at least also go to the US hosting provider Godaddy this year.

For this reason, a close relative should be given access to their own computer. This can be done, for example, with an overview of all existing accounts, user names, email addresses and the associated passwords.

In addition, this should be provided with a power of attorney in which it is recorded what should happen to the existing accounts and contracts after death. Such a power of attorney is basically free of form and acts as a kind of preliminary stage to the will and does not necessarily have to be notarized, but it is still recommended. It is important that this power of attorney is handwritten, dated and signed. It must also apply "beyond death", as can be read on the side of the federal government.

The digital legacy on Facebook, Google & Co.

Facebook has long had the option of allowing users to enter an estate contact for their digital legacy. In addition, the profile can be placed in a non-public memorial state, which can only be activated by presenting the death certificate.

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With Google , up to ten administrators can even have access to the account. They will be notified of longer periods of inactivity and will then have access to the relevant account.

On Twitter, close family members can display the death in the profile. The Twitter account will then be deleted within one month. Here, too, a death certificate is required for proof, as well as a notarized document such as a certificate of inheritance that states that you are the legal heir.

When organizing the digital heritage, all regulations should therefore be precisely defined, as there are still legal problems in some areas. In any case, a first step to make it easier for relatives to deal with the digital legacy is to issue a power of attorney and a current and complete list of all accounts, accounts and passwords. Finanzen.net


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