[GLLUG] Digital provision in wills

Christopher Hunter cehunter at gb-x.org
Fri May 22 23:02:01 UTC 2015

On 22/05/15 09:47, John Levin wrote:
> Dear list,
> Somewhat tangental, but a serious matter. What provisions have people 
> put in their wills for their digital presence?
> By which I mean their computers, their domain names, hosting 
> arrangements and website contents, github accounts etc.
> And how has this been arranged? What provision has been made for 
> passing on passwords upon death, but only to designated people and 
> only at that time?
> John

Strangely enough, this came up in discussion in my family recently. My 
Father is in his late 80s, and has had some medical episodes recently 
which led him to consider just this issue.  His wife (my step-mother) is 
about 15 years younger than him, and she now has access to all his 
digital passwords - his website, his servers (he has two at home), his 
desktop, laptop and tablet computers - however, his bank were the "fly 
in the ointment":

The bank he's been with since they were called the "District Bank" on 
Merseyside refused to allow him to "reveal his passwords in any 
circumstances".  Enquiry suggested that another family member using his 
credentials - even after his demise - would be at least threatened with 
legal sanction, even if they had "Power Of Attorney"!  The bank refused 
to budge, so he closed his very considerable account, and moved to 
another, more enlightened bank:

HSBC will allow executors or other "suitably authorised persons" to use 
another persons' passwords to gain access to the account in the event of 
death or incapacity.  Apparently, a couple of the other High Street 
banks also do - it's obviously worth enquiring before you really need to 

I hope that this will prove to be useful info for anyone else in the 
same situation (as we all will be one day!)


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