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Managing Digital Legacies by Andrew Kalat

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Chapter 2. Dealing with the Digital Legacy of an Unexpected Death

Introduction

If you are reading this chapter of the report due to a recent loss, let me first say, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Everyone’s grief is unique, I know mere words do little to assuage the pain and grief you must be feeling, but I hope this guide will help in some small way.

I can only hope that some of the preparation work outlined in Chapter 1 is available to the surviving spouse or family member to help pick up the pieces, but I will not assume that for this part of the report. However, there are a lot of helpful items in Chapter 1 that can help organize your thoughts and approach to this information. It might be useful to review that portion of this report to help sort through the details of a sudden death.

There are great tasks and concerns that come into play when dealing with an unexpected death. For this report, I will focus only on the digital aspects of an unexpected death. I have added some additional nondigital items in an Appendix following this report; however, the scope here will be mainly digital items.

In general, aside from the largest companies, very few online companies have a solid and known policy for dealing with the sudden death of a customer or member. Often, they must invent an ad hoc process and figure out how to resolve the situation without any existing guidance. Patience and kindness will go a long way to getting help from various companies who were in this circumstance. ...

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