The duties of an Executor get more and more complex as the world gets more and more complex. With people using email for just about everything today, it is important for an Executor to access the email account of the deceased to make sure that there is nothing important contained in a message, such as a business deadline. However, if the Executor does not have the password, then things can get complicated.
In the best case scenario, the Executor will be able to access the computer that the person used. This access can be used to check any desktop mail clients. It can also be used to check online email if the password is stored in a Web brower’s memory. If those options do not work, then an Executor will need to ask the email provider for access to the account. Different companies have different requirements for granting access. Some, like Yahoo, will only grant access if they receive a court order. Others will just want to see a death certificate and documentation of the requester’s authorization.
If you are an Executor needing to access an email account, ask an attorney about what you need to do. If you are anyone else, ask an attorney about how to leave your email password to your Executor to make his or her job a bit easier.