Who gets your iTunes when you’re dead? How to pass on music collections, Nectar Points and more

Who gets your iTunes when you’re dead? How to pass on music collections, Nectar Points and more

If this was an iTunes library, it could just vanish

We’re splashing increasing amounts of cash on digital products like music, TV shows and films.

The average iTunes user spends $48 (£31.47) every year, according to one estimate. If we did that every year from 2001, when iTunes started, we’d have forked out £440.63.

But while in the past music lovers could pass on their record collection, our digital rights are far less clear.

Emma Myers, from Saga Legal Services, said: “Many people use the internet to download films, music and TV shows.

“What you may not realise is that you are sometimes not paying to own the content in a real sense, more that you are paying for a licence to use it during your lifetime.”

So how DO you preserve your iTunes collection for the next generation?

Thinking of times past

We asked Saga for the rules:

Share your Apple ID

Currently, you cannot get Apple to delete an account. But if your loved ones have access to your Apple ID and password they can edit the personal information.

The family can click here to manage the Apple ID. Once they’ve signed in, they can change the name of the account and the address.

In effect they create a new account and have access to anything the deceased downloaded. Include the personal information of the intended beneficiary to avoid any problems.

They can also contact customer services on 0844 209 0611 or 0800 107 6285.

Dealing with a digital legacy

If someone dies, they can leave behind a large amount of unfinished business online. Some of it will be entirely personal. In other cases there may be sums of money held in online accounts.

Don’t let a sale go unfinished

Send eBay a copy of the death certificate along with the deceased member’s username, e-mail address, full name, full address, and contact phone number.

eBay also ask for a record of the person making the account closure request. This could be a copy of a driving licence of passport.

Once eBay receives this information, they will close the account and write off any outstanding fees. The account can only be closed when the balance is £0.

Only got Nectar Points? Probably not the favourite child

To inherit Nectar points, the legal heir or executor must call 0344 811 0811 with the deceased’s name and date of birth.

If the balance stands at more than 40,000 points, written confirmation from the executor of the Will must be provided, by post to: Freepost RRXL-TGET-CGZX, Nectar, Clipper Boulevard, Dartford, DA2 6QB.

gambling machine
Don’t gamble with your legacy

Send a copy of the death certificate to kyc@betfair.com along with the deceased’s name. The next of kin will receive any remaining funds in the account.

Send the deceased;’s death certificate and information to support@paddypower.com. Ask that the outstanding balance be returned to the estate.

E-mail customerhelp@williamhill.co.uk with a copy of the death certificate and proof that the person claiming the funds is related to the deceased. For example show the same surname, or a birth or marriage certificate.

Customer services will close the account and transfer the remaining balance.

Oyster card
The ticket to untold riches?

Send the Oyster card number and a copy of the death certificate to enquiry.tube@tfl.gov.uk.

To close the account, the estate executor should fax the following to 0870 730 3194:

  • A cover sheet that states the account holder is deceased and the executor wants to close the
  • PayPal account
  • A copy of the death certificate for the account holder
  • A copy of the deceased account holder’s Will or legal documentation that provides the information regarding the executor
  • A letter stating the intentions, for example: changing the name of the account holder, closing the account
  • A copy of a photo ID of the executor

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After death: a technical guide

After death: a technical guide

When approaching the difficult task of accessing websites and online accounts, dealing with it is divided between two options: having the password or not having the password.

  • If you have a password – you can get in
  • If you don’t have a password, but have access to an e-mail account, in most of the websites you could click on “I forgot my password” and a link will be sent by e-mail, to create a new password. Once you have created it, you can get into the website / account
  • If you have neither a password nor access to an e-mail account, the dealings get more complicated, because they involve approaching the online services providers. Some are already set for dealing with death of clients and present clear policies and guidelines in this regard, but some are still grappling with it or have done so until recently. Twitter, for instance, published their policy only in August 2010.

Another element you’ll need to take into consideration is TIME. In certain cases, only a narrow window of time is available through which you could take care of the deceased’s digital legacy:

  • On facebook, for instance, at any moment someone might turn his or her profile into a memorial profile (your consent isn’t required and you’ll find yourselves locked out of the account – even if you have a valid password). Therefore, the first thing I recommend you do is download a copy of the profile’s content (for “how to” scroll down, under “Facebook”).
  • Some of the email services providers might terminate an account which hasn’t been used over a certain period of time, depending on their Terms of Use. Therefore I recommend that if you have the means to do so, go into the email account, just to create some activity and prolong the window during which you can make up your mind.
  • Sometimes you’ll have access to accounts only for a limited amount of time: if the deceased passed away while his / her smartphone / tablet / laptop / computer was still logged on, you would still have access through this device to his or her online accounts. But eventually you’ll be prompted to re-enter the passwords, and when you can’t provide one, you’ll be locked out of these accounts. Therefore, I recommend you take advantage of this access while you have it, and set as many new passwords as you can, to ensure you have independent access to the accounts – at least to begin with. Maybe later on you’ll decide to close the accounts, or not to go into them, but at least you’ll have a choice.

I know you already have so much to handle after the death of a loved one, and maybe his or her digital legacy doesn’t strike you as urgent, but unfortunately, by the time you do get around to dealing with it, it’ll be too late, and invaluable, precious data will be permanently lost – in a way which cannot be restored.
Entrustet used to have a wonderful blog, and in it a “Digital Executor Toolbox” could be found. Unfortunately, when Entrusted was purchased by SecureSafe, the blog went offline, which is a pity. It used to have useful information about how to close online accounts and delete digital assets after the user has passed away. I hope it will go online again. In the meanwhile, I have compiled a list here for your convenience. A click on each link will take you to the relevant page of the online service provider.
International companies (Israeli companies listed below) 


“Please note: We are unable to provide login information for the account to anyone regardless of his or her relationship to the deceased.”


“If an individual has passed away and you need access to the contents of his or her email account, in rare cases we maybe able to provide the Gmail account content to an authorized representative of the deceased user. …. Any decision to provide the contents of a deceased user’s email will be made only after a careful review, and the application to obtain email content is a lengthy process. Before you begin, please understand that Google may be unable to provide the Gmail account content….”


Between the time I wrote this post as a draft and print-screened this page and the time I published this post, YouTube took their policy offline. Right now there isn’t an online policy regarding a deceased YouTube member’s account. I’ve sent YouTube a query about this and will update this post once I have news.


“The Microsoft Next of Kin process allows for the release of Hotmail contents, including all emails and their attachments, address book, and Messenger contact list, to the next of kin of a deceased or incapacitated account holder and/or closure of the Hotmail account, following a short authentication process. We cannot provide you with the password to the account or change the password on the account, and we cannot transfer ownership of the account to the next of kin. Account contents are released by way of a data DVD which is shipped to you.”


“To close the account of a deceased LinkedIn member you’ll need to submit a Verification of Death form. Note: This form requires an email address registered to the deceased member’s account. Without this important piece of information, we will not be able to address your request.”


This used to be MySpace’s policy, but they updated it in July 2012:

“We will only remove or preserve the profile of a deceased user at the request of the next of kin or at the request of the executor of the estate. Myspace will not allow access or update the log-in information for a profile for any circumstance… However, if you have access to the email account tied to the Myspace profile, you can retrieve the password by clicking www.myspace.com/auth/resetpassword“.


“In order to protect the privacy of the deceased user, we cannot provide login information for the account to anyone.”
My advice is: if you have access to the Facebook account of your loved one who passed away, the first thing you should do is download a copy of it (General Account Settings > Download a copy). If someone were to notify Facebook that the account owner has passed away, Facebook will block all access to the profile and you will not be able to get in – even if you do have the password. Facebook’s policy is controversial: anyone can notify that a person has passed away, not just members of his immediate family. Hence, the spouse / child / parent might suddenly find themselves with the profile turning into a deceased person’s profile, without their request. Once a profile is “memorized”, as they call it, only friends can see it and locate it in search results see update below, and some of the content disappears while some of it remains – and you have no control over it. Very little information is required in order to report someone as gone: Report a Deceased Person’s Profile

The only right reserved to members of his / her immediate family is to ask for the profile to be deleted: How do I submit a special request for a deceased user’s account on the site? and then “If you are an immediate family member and would like to request that we remove your loved one’s account from the site, click here“.

In February 2014 Facebook changed their policy in two regards:

  1. Following John Berlin’s appeal to see the ‘Look Back’ video of his deceased son, Jesse Berlin, Facebook now allows members of a deceased user to watch his or her ‘Look Back’ video. Please note: a request to see a Look Back video of a user who passed away equals a request to memoralize the account, even if this wasn’t your intention, so please make sure you understand the consequences of your act before making this request. If you are certain you wish for his or her account to be momoralized, or if the account is already memoralized, you can make the request here. Thank youDamien McCallig for highlighting this point.
  2. Facebook took this opportunity to also change the privacy settings of memoralized accounts: from now on, the content will remain visible as the owner defined it while he/she was still alive. Meaning: if certain content was made visible publiclicly, it will remain so. If certain content was made visible to friends of friends, it will remain so – unlike what the policy was up until now: that once an account was memoralized, all the content was visible to friends only.

A word about Facebook‘s policy of memorializing an account: Of course this is very personal, but I think and feel it is better to keep “running into” my dead brother’s profile on Facebook as if he were still alive, than to have his profile declared as a profile of a dead person. I do not wish for certain content out of his profile to disappear, as it will disappear without any of us having a say about what stays and what disappears – it is determined by Facebook’s policy only.

Ever since my brother was killed, he has received hundreds of friendship requests, and as far as I can tell, all are by people who realize he is dead. I am puzzled by this: Is it their initiative, or in response to Facebook suggesting him as a possible friend? Is it their way of showing their respect to him? Their way of expressing their sorrow over missing out the opportunity to be his friends while he was still alive? Do they expect their request of friendship to be accepted? Is there a bit of voyeurism in it – to see which content they will be granted access to as friends, that they couldn’t see before? How would they feel if “he” will suddenly approve their request, since it will be clear it was not done by him but by a family member?

Since approving a friendship request grants access to certain content which only friends can see, I feel no one has the right or authority to approve friendship requests but the deceased.

Israeli Companies 
None of the Israeli companies publish their policy regarding death of a client online. I gathered the following information from each one as a service to the readers of this blog.
Walla! will grant you the password to the mailbox as soon as you follow their clear policy in this regard. Email them at: support@walla.net.il and ask for a copy of their instructions in English (In a nutshell, you will need to provide both proof of death and proof of your relation to the deceased). You should contact them as soon as you can: an e-mail account that hasn’t been used in 3 months might be closed by the company.
012 Smile 
Unfortunately, there is no point in contacting this company. They will only grant access to the e-mail under court order. Contact your lawyer instead.
Bezeq International 
You can notify Bezeq International someone has passed away either by phone: *3014 or by chat with a customer service representative. You will only need to supply the ID number and the last fourdigits of the method of payment of the deceased, and they will give you the e-mail password. You will need to provide a copy of a death certificate, oddly enough, not in order to gain access to the e-mail account, but in order to receive a refund for unused Internet services.
If you wish to keep the e-mail active, you can do so: the first 6 months for free, and from the 7th months onward by paying 9.90 NIS per month.
TheMarker Cafe
You can notify TheMarker Cafe by phone 03-5133697 or e-mail support@themarker.com, but they will only grant access to the account under court order.
013 Netvision
You can notify Netvision by phone: *3013 or by e-mail service@netvision.net.il. As soon as you present a copy of the death certificate, ID number and last four digits of method of payment, you will be granted full access to all the services the deceased was subscribed to – including e-mail and cloud backup. This is relevant however only if they had a private account. If they had a business account, only the owner of the company can contact Netvision, or the person registered at Netvision as the contact person for the company the deceased person worked for.
You will have to have a Hebrew speaking person next to you, as Tapuz can only be contacted by a Hebrew form in their website. They will only assist you in gaining access to the account if you have access to the e-mail address that the person who passed away registered with. If you don’t, they will assist you only if there is a legal cause for it, or under court order.
Isra-Blog is part of Nana10 and can be notified about a death of a blogger by e-mail: israblog@nana10.co.il. They don’t have a consistent policy: in some cases, the blog will be taken offline. In other cases, a family member will be granted access to it – depending, among other factors, on the family wishes.
You can contact Nana10 by e-mail support@nana10.co.il, but access to the mailbox will only be granted under court order.
What is so frustrating about the long, complex dealings with the various Internet providers and their different policies – which includes heartache and helplessness – is that the people left behind after the death could have easily been spared all that – if only the deceased had left their usernames and passwords behind. They could have accessed their accounts without the provider ever knowing the user was dead. Several products (some of them for free) offer this exact service: keeping track of websites, user names and passwords, along with instructions of who may access what, are detailed in this post: Managing Your Digital Legacy.

How to Prepare for the Digital Afterlife

How to Prepare for the Digital Afterlife

So it seems that as early as the 2060s, there could possibly be extra lifeless profiles on Facebook than residing ones. And by lifeless, I don’t imply inactive. I imply person deceased. Gone. It’s an eerie thought, this concept of some digital wind blowing by way of an enormous social community, rattling empty profiles and deserted on-line outposts. It makes you consider issues. Like what occurs to your Facebook whenever you die? Who will get your iTunes library? Can somebody take over your eBay account? Digital loss of life raises lots of questions. So what are the solutions? It’s a delicate topic, but we shouldn’t shrink back from it. Death is inevitable, and all our profiles in aren’t going to disappear simply because we do. Here’s some recommendation about how to put together your profiles for put up-you – plus what you are able to do along with your family and friends members’ account after they go away.

Learn what to do with social accounts

Social media profiles are fixed reminders of the individual you’ve misplaced. Post-demise, the fixed stream of updates and posts abruptly stops, leaving a haunting and coronary heart-breaking void. So what are you able to do about this? What do the large social corporations allow you to do? Facebook permits family and friends members to flip profiles of deceased customers right into a memorial web page which nonetheless retains the content material that beforehand existed. This used to solely be out there to on-web site associates of the deceased, however Facebook has controversially modified its phrases of service in order that in case your profile was open to the public pre-demise, it is going to be submit-loss of life as properly.   Other social networks don’t provide the similar memorial alternatives as Facebook. For most of them, it’s about fulfilling the technical (and authorized) obligations of closing down accounts. So how does this work? Twitter requires copies of a variety of paperwork to deactivate a 3rd-social gathering’s profile. This features a copy of the loss of life certificates and a signed assertion from the individual making the request. With Flickr, an executor might have to have a username and password to delete an account. Once deleted, no photograph content material will likely be publicly accessible. It’ll even be deleted from Flickr’s servers. Elsewhere, you would possibly want to submit a report to Instagram in the event you don’t have the username and password of the person who’s died. If you do have their information, you’ll be able to login, edit profile and delete.

Understand what to do with retail accounts

Okay, so we’ve checked out social profiles, however what about accounts the place you’ve purchased stuff? Sold stuff? It might come as a shock to you, however you don’t personal something you’ve purchased from iTunes. What you’ve paid for is the proper to devour that content material – not personal it. And so technically it could’t be transferred to one other person. You may nonetheless give you the chance to work one thing out with Apple, although. Get in contact and see.   What about all of your Google-associated content material? Google’s Inactive Account Manager explains what ought to occur with digital belongings as soon as somebody has died. A trusted buddy or relative may be nominated to obtain knowledge, so all of your Gmail, YouTube and Google+ accounts and content material may very well be transferred to your greatest good friend or a relative. Amazon and Kindle require the consumer’s e-mail handle and a replica of the loss of life certificates, or an executor might contact customer support with the consumer account particulars, and will then have the opportunity to entry content material, equivalent to music saved on the Cloud Drive. Elsewhere, PayPal requires an executor to ship copies of their ID, the will and a demise certificates to permit entry to an account if a person has died. Ebay requires a court docket order, and Netflix has no details about how to delete a person’s account – you’ll have to name them.

Planning Steps To Protect Your Digital Assets

Planning Steps To Protect Your Digital Assets

In my previous column, I described the safety challenges enterprise homeowners have with their digital property. Unfortunately, the problems are extra encompassing thanjust the chance of stolen buyer bank card knowledge.

To get a deal with on these threats to their enterprise, homeowners should perceive the breadth of firm data that’s digital: banking data, paperwork, spreadsheets, personnel data, domains. Further, the proprietor should acknowledge the chance will not be restricted to the difficulty of theft of digital data. There can be the problem of figuring out the place this data is positioned and whether or not the placement is safe. Does digital information resideon firm servers, in an worker’s good telephone or is it floating round someplace within the cloud? Added to this,is the issue of accessing this digital data. The data could exist, however it might grow to be inconceivable to entry, both due to hardware failure, misplaced usernames and passwordsor failure of the corporate sustaining the knowledge. What steps can a enterprise proprietor take to minimize the chance, mitigate the losses and in any other case provide a point of peace of thoughts?

Get Help:  When I purchased my Apple II within the late Nineteen Seventies, the customer wasessentially anticipated to function installer, customer support rep and repairman. There had been no shops, web sites or geek squads obtainable to deal with issues. This is not the case. Thetechnical infrastructure supporting digital info is nicely-developed. There are wonderful sources, each human and digital, for designing a digital asset safety plan. Just as a enterprise makes use of specialists to assist design a catastrophe restoration plan for its bodily plant, so too ought to a enterprise think about using outdoors experience to create a digital asset safety plan.

Make an Inventory:Can you determine all the data you may have that’s digital, each enterprise and private? And have you learnt the place it’s saved? Is the knowledge on the premises, within the cloud, on worker’s private digital devise?It is so commonplace to have staff personal their very own digital devises that, moderately than preventing the pattern, companies are designing asset safety plans round BYOD (deliver your personal gadget).  It is essential to know what gadgets staff use and what data will be saved in these devises. An stock should additionally embrace the place and the way this info is backed up. And, most significantly, that you must understand how this info could be accessed.Are consumer names and passwords recorded someplace that’s each protected and accessible?

Clean it Up:  The stock is prone to expose weaknesses in your digital asset safety plans. For instance, you could discover that key knowledge isn’t being backed up on a constant foundation. This affords a possibility to retailer information each on safe tangible media and offsite within the cloud. In different circumstances, chances are you’ll discover that your organization’s info is copied and backed-up in a number of and unregulated media, unnecessarily exposing that data to theft or misuse. This is your probability to reign within the knowledge.

Give and Get Permission:  My earlier column identified that federal legislation could make individuals unwitting felons once they use another person’s consumer identify and password. While it stays troublesome to ameliorate this authorized purgatory, some type of written permission is healthier than no documentation in any respect.  Further, in some circumstances, there is a chance to specify disposition of a digital account in line with the supplier’s directions. Google, for instance, lately created the Inactive Account Manager which permits customers to manage what occurs to emails, pictures and different paperwork saved on sure Google websites.  Law Professor Gerry Beyer of Texas Tech University affords various authorized steps which will assist shield digital property, notably in an property planning context. It could also be attainable to authorize an agent to entry digital property, or the property will be positioned in a belief. If the digital belongings are of a private nature, it could even be acceptable to incorporate particular directions in a will.

Use Online Protection Services:Why not use software program to guard what your software program generates?  There is an energetic trade of on-line instruments designed to guard and deal with digital property. Some are on-line password managers reminiscent ofLastPass and PasswordBox.  Others, corresponding to Estate++ and If I Die, search to retailer details about digital belongings and even ship emails about these property ought to the proprietor die.  They can function a digital security deposit field and ship out notes to pre-designated recipients at dying.

Digital asset safety is a course of that lags behind know-how each when it comes to regulation and trade requirements. While IT gurus can cook dinner up artistic methods to retailer and defend digital info, it’s painfully apparent that they’re typically designing techniques and requirements on the fly. This makes it all of the extra vital to supervise the creation of a digital asset plan for each your enterprise and household, evaluate it steadily, and modify it as time and know-how strikes on.