What happens to your emails, social media accounts, computer files, etc. when you die?

Just this week I spoke to a woman whose spouse had died unexpectedly and very young.  Her husband had done all of the finances on the computer with everything stored digitally (from his business accounts to the household bills and mortgage); and he had kept the passwords to himself.  In speaking with this individual, she had looked everywhere for a written summary of the passwords for the various accounts but could not find any written record.  She is starting to get past due notices for bills for which she has no information, and the bank accounts which were also in her husband’s name cannot be accessed until she is appointed personal representative of the estate of her late spouse. read more