Scott Reeves (Forbes) has a good article called “What happens to your e-mail when you die?” that addresses some of the issues involving email, blogs, websites and the rest of your online empire that arise when you die. These issues will only continue to grow in importance.
Tax professor blogger Jim Maule and I were quoted in another good article on probate and estate planning issues we will increasingly be running into as we move to an Internet society. The article, by Susan Shor, is called “Digital Property and the Laws of Inheritance” Read it along with the Forbes article and you will get a good intro to these issues.
I like this quote from me that was used in the article:

If someone dies, there are a lot of people who should be notified. The fact that someone has died is very meaningful and a paper address book may not have closest friends. Those people who are known mainly through e-mail or online may wonder what happened. By the time things get sorted out, the funeral is long over, and it’s too late.

Estate planning and probate law is another area of law in which the Internet is having some surprising consequences. If you have a significant online presence and intellectual property, you probably want to do some shopping around for a lawyer who understands the value of what you have and the implications of what must happen when you die to pass the value of what you have to your survivors.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
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