Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gmail...What Happens When You're Dead

I guess it happens to everyone...right? At some point we will all be gone, but what happens to your Gmail account? For those of you not familiar with Gmail, it is a free web-based email service provided by none other than Google. Gmail started on April 1, 2004 as a private invitation-only service and was opened to the public as a public beta on February 7, 2007. Currently Gmail is still in beta, a practice which is very common by Google. Gmail is unique for its constantly growing disk space, at the moment Gmail accounts come with over 2859 megabytes of free disk space. PC World ranked Gmail as the second best product in its release of "The 100 Best Products of 2005". Gmail was only behind of Mozilla Firefox. Gmail has become very popular due its is popular design, ease of use, and constantly growing storage space feature. So now that Gmail is so popular what happens to your account once you are dead. Generally we all have important information stored within our email boxes, so what happens to the sensitive emails that must be accessed by your family or friends? Well there is actually a process you can follow in order to gain access to the Gmail account of a deceased individual. Gmail Guide explains that these steps must be followed in order to gain access.
1. Your full name and contact information, including a verifiable email address.
2. The Gmail address of the individual who passed away.
3a. The full header from an email message that you have received at your verifiable email address, from the Gmail account in question. (To obtain the header from a message in Gmail, open the message, click 'More options,' then click 'Show original.' Copy everything from 'Delivered- To:' through the 'References:' line. To obtain headers from other webmail or email providers, please refer to
3b. The entire contents of the message.
4. A copy of the death certificate of the deceased.
5. A copy of the document that gives you Power of Attorney over the Gmail account.
6. If you are the parent of the individual, please send us a copy of the Birth Certificate if the Gmail account owner was under the age of 18. In this case, Power of Attorney is not required.

It is best to send the information either via post mail or fax:
Google Inc.
Attention: Gmail User Support
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Fax: 650-644-0358

This typically takes about 30 days to be processed. We hope this information was useful...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hopefully I dont or anyone i know has to ever worry about this - very weird stuff...again