When you pass away, it’s often necessary for someone else to be able to access your email account. Many business deals today are done almost solely by email and to properly wrap up your affairs, someone will need to check your email to make sure that there is nothing that needs to be acted upon.
Accessing someone else’s email is difficult without a password, however. The person attempting to access your email will need to get the information from your email provider. The provider will not release that information to just anyone. For example, Gmail requires a death certificate, a power of attorney and other types of personal documents to prove identity. Yahoo will only release the information with a specific court order granting access to the email account. Other companies have different requirements.
The best solution is to leave your password somewhere that your heirs can find it. That does not mean a desk drawer where they can find it now. Leave the password in a safety deposit box or other secure location that only you can access. If you do not have that type of secure location, ask your attorney to keep the password secure and to release it upon your death.