I read an article this morning in the New York Post detailing someone’s big find in a storage locker auction: half a million dollars worth of Spanish gold. The auctioneers (Dan and Laura Dotson) are the same people who are star on the A&E tv show, Storage Wars, although the find was apparently not caught on tape.
According to the auctioneer, the previous owner of the Spanish gold was a lady who paid a few hundred dollars a month to lease her storage unit. When she passed away, her credit card payments stopped being made, and the abandoned locker was auctioned, sight unseen.
As much as I enjoy watching Storage Wars, my mind wandered a bit when I read the article. I instantly thought about the domain names I own that are automatically renewed annually and paid for via credit card. If/when something happens to me, my credit card will be cancelled or expire, and it will be up to someone else to renew my company domain names. Should they fail to do so, the domain names will expire and likely be auctioned.
There are a couple of lessons in this I suppose. First, I like to have my best domain names renewed for a number of years in advance. At least this would buy time for whomever is responsible for my domain names when I’m gone. Second, you should have a continuity plan for your business should something happen to you. This is especially important if you have advertisers on your websites.
Domain Guardians (I wrote about them when the company started) is one company that can advise you on how to protect your domain assets when you’re gone. You can also speak with an attorney if you prefer to deal with it privately. It’s not a fun issue to discuss, but if you happen to have valuable domain names, it’s a topic that needs to be addressed before something happens.