“This is something most people don’t think of until they are faced with it. They have no idea what is about to be lost,” said Karen Williams of Beaverton, Oregon, who sued Facebook for access to her 22-year-old son Loren’s account after he died in a 2005 motorcycle accident.
The question of what to do with one’s “digital assets” is as big as America’s electronic footprint. A person’s online musings, photos and videos — such as a popular cooking blog or a gaming avatar that has acquired a certain status online — can be worth considerable value to an estate. Imagine the trove of digital files for someone of historical or popular note — say former President Bill Clinton or musician Bob Dylan — and what those files might fetch on an auction block.
In all seriousness, this is something people need to think about. For example, I don’t ever get statements for my mortgage, electricity, car insurance, life insurance, etc. sent to me in the mail. It all comes electronically, and it gets paid electronically. My wife needs to be able to get my e-mail and bank username/password when I die.
I suspect your AF account will survive as long as AF does. A former colleague of mine died in a car accident a couple of years ago and his LinkedIn profile is still there. I suspect his wife doesn’t even know about it, or doesn’t care.