Planning For Death These Days Means More Than Just Writing A Will

Planning For Death These Days Means More Than Just Writing A Will

Planning For Death These Days Means More Than Just Writing A Will

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Most families prepare for the unthinkable with a will, but protecting your digital life is also just as important.

One family suffered devastating consequences because a loved one didn’t have the right protection.

It’s still hard for Karen Prangley to look at old photos of her dad.

“We didn’t know at one point if we were going to lose my Dad,” she said.

Greg Prangley suffered two devastating strokes in 2009.

After a week in a coma, the 62-year-old woke up but his memory was shot.

“My brother and I tried to communicate with him via paper, pen, anyway to get into his email account where he ran his business from,” Karen said.

Greg couldn’t remember his Yahoo password. His entire business was tied to his account.

Within a month the company collapsed. Greg died in 2014.

“You’re dealing with your Dad might not be there the next day, but are you doing the right thing on behalf of him for his company?” Karen said.

Dan Ackerman is a senior editor for CNET. He says you can do more than share your passwords.

“I would go to Google, Facebook and Twitter they all have a page where you can set up legacy requests,” said Ackerman.

Protecting your digital afterlife is a relatively new concept.

Part of that plan also includes adding your digital life to your will.

“As part of estate planning you should set up a data executor in your will that has permission to access your account,” said Ackerman. Either give them the password ahead of time or make them an authorized user of your accounts.”

That is something Karen’s father never did. The family contacted Yahoo for help. But the company’s policy states: neither the Yahoo account nor any of the content is transferable, even when the account owner is deceased.

“We really learned it the hard way being a small business owner he had everything in that account,” she said. “Everything was lost and still to this day we can’t get into that yahoo account.”

The other thing to look into is state and local laws pertaining to digital assets in an estate.

The reason being, the law doesn’t move nearly as fast as technology so what may be true today may not hold up years down the line.


Digital Dead’s Man Switch Plugin for WordPress – DDSM

Why this plugin ?

WordPress, the famous blog platform, is running around 25% of ALL websites on the internet – so I’m pretty sure that, statistically, your own online activity may revolve around this tool. That, or for people you know.

But what’s going to happen in case they don’t have the time to set up a proper digital will, or time to brief their executor? What if, your website itself could contact your executor if you’re not active on this website anymore?

What does this plugin do ?

It handles what happens after we die. It monitors your own visits to your wordpress system, and will send you a warning email after a number of weeks (of your choice) without a visit. If you fail to visit your blog even after that, the system will send a mail you wrote to whoever you choose.

All time intervals and messages are customizable.

The plugin will at the same time publish a page that you’d saved as a draft as your new frontpage – if you want to – so that your readers will know something happened to you.

This should be used to have someone keep your blog on the air in the unfortunate case of something mishappening to you.

This plugin is also useful for those that want their blog to out-live them, and serve as an online memorial. Even without use of this plugin, all are recommended to make sure someone can handle their website in case of emergency.

Download the plugin for free.


A classical WordPress plugin… Download it first, upload the zip file to your blog, go to plugins -> Add Plugin, and that’s it.


  • After installation, and the plugin activation, just check in the box.
  • The plugin then activates if you do not connect to your blog account.

Set up and usage

  1. Check that your email is correct
  2. Update the text of the reminders – mails that will be sent to you or anyone you want. Keep in mind there are 4 series of emails.
  3. On the last shipment of mails, when you have presumably been away too long from your computer.


Simple as it is … just get it here : [Download] on the WordPress plugin platform.


Shall I keep my passwords in the mails to be sent?

No. Definitely no.

Why do I need to use a plugin like this? I’m going to live for ever!

No, you’re not.

I got a warning email, what do I do?

Go to your options panel, and hit Reset.

Does this count only visits to my dashboard, or will it know me when I visit the blog?

Every visit to your wordpress system, blog or dashboard, count, as long as you’re logged in.

What if I just don’t care much for my blog, and visit it only once every few months?

First, you can set the time intervals, up to 30 weeks before the system assumes you’re no longer. Secondly, maybe this plugin is not for you. The idea behind this plugin is that we visit our blogs daily, if not hourly, so if something happens to you, the blog will be the first to feel it.

I’m not using this plugin because I’m afraid my mother will get a false email from me saying I’m dead!**

The system will first send you a warning email after a default time period of two weeks without a visit. A week later it will send you another warning, and also a warning to your chosen next of kin, whom you can ask to contact you and tell you to go in and reset. only after these two time periods, will the plugin allow itself to assume the worst.

How do I know when the trigger will trigger ?

You’ll know (if still opening your mail) that you haven’t been connecting to your wordpress platform as you will receive a mail stating that you haven’t.

Contribute ?


Setting up the plugin
Setting up the plugin

First messages
First messages

Second half of messages
Second half of messages

Changing the homepage upon your death
Changing the homepage upon your death

Work in progress

  • [Download].
  • To be updated, the V01 just got released so far =)

Who ?

A plugin updated, for and by