Google - gmail
Google have a two stage process and say they may be able to release account content to an authorised representative but only after a lengthy process and careful review. Requires communication with the USA.
Require from the applicant: full name, postal and email address, a photocopy of government standard photo identification i.e. passport or driving licence, gmail address of the deceased together with the full content of an email you have received from that address including the full header and the death certificate of the deceased. If the death certificate is not in English, a certified and notarised translation is required.
This information should be posted to:Google Inc
Gmail User Support - Decedents' Accounts c/o Google Custodian of Records
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
All of this must be done before Google begin to consider releasing content. They will contact you by email with further instructions.
More information and their fax number is available from this link Google.
Microsoft - Outlook, Hotmail, Live, Windowslive, MSN
Microsoft state that they will close an account and release contents using their Microsoft Next of Kin process. This includes emails, address book and contact list.
You need to email the Microsoft Custodian of Records at firstname.lastname@example.org. This link Microsoft takes you to the page that lists all the information that is needed and how to submit it (scan, fax or post), as well as timescales for the process. You have to be in touch with their staff in the USA. The information is detailed and clear. Note they state that you should NOT send original documents as everything they are sent is shredded at the end of the process and not returned.
Yahoo do not release any information from an account with them.
To ask them to close the account of someone who has died you need to send a letter with your request to close the account, the Yahoo ID of the deceased, evidence of your appointment as an executor of the estate or as personal representative and a copy of the death certificate. You can post these to:Yahoo Legal Department
701 First Avenue
The email for scanned documents and the fax number can be found using this link Yahoo.
AOL and TalkTalk - (formerly Tiscali)
Call the Bereavement Team. If you have a TalkTalk phone you can call free on 0870 444 1820. Otherwise use 0203 441 5550.
Have the name of the person who has died and their account details available when you call. The Bereavement Team will help with closing the account or transfering the ownership of the account.
Call the Customer Service team on 0845 454 1111 (or 150 from a Virgin landline). They will ask you for a few details about yourself and the person who has died.
This information is forwarded to a specialist Bereavement and transfer of responsibility team who will call you back at an agreed time.
Facebook has a form on their site to notify them of the death of an account holder - you can go direct to it via this link.
You can ask for the page of the person who has died to be removed completely or for it to be memorialised. You need to be an immediate next of kin or an executor to be able to carry out either of these actions. You will not be given access to the account itself.
If you decide to have the page memorialised, it will be preserved in the same way in which it was set up. What this means is that what the person who died allowed to be seen only by family and friends will remain visible in that way and what was public remains so.
Facebook will also make their 'Look Back' videos available or possibly even create one from previous posts and photos.
Twitter will deactivate an account after the account holder dies if the request comes from an immediate family member or personal representative. They will not give any access to the content of the account.
You need to write to:Twitter.Inc
c/o Trust and Safety
1355 Market St, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Or fax 001 415 865 5405 (this includes the international dialling code from the UK).
The information required is:
- the user name of the deceased's Twitter account
- a copy of the death certificate
- government issued identification for you (passport or driving licence)
- a signed statement from you which includes your first and last name, email address and other contact information, and you relationship to the deceased e.g. son or executor of estate. The statement needs to include the action required i.e. deactivate the Twitter account. If the name on the account does not exactly match the name on the death certificate you will need to explain why there is a difference and possibly support this with other evidence.
Once you have submitted the information to Twitter they will carry out any further contact with you by email so do make sure you include your email address.