Yeah – that would suck, right? Well, what would happen to all of your domain names? How would all of your Internet-based colleagues and friends find out about your demise? There’s an article on Yahoo News discussing how some online gamers have dealt with death, and how their families had to inform friends and colleagues about a death. Now is the time to start thinking about this type of stuff while you are alive (and healthy).
There have been a couple of websites established that can help family members notify friends and colleagues. One thing I strongly recommend to domain owners is to extend the registration on the top 10-15% of their domain names for as long as possible. In the event something happens (even if it’s injury and not death) the extended registration will ensure that domain names do not accidentally expire. Most of my best domain names don’t expire for 10 years, and I extend it every time I can.
Secondly, on a flash drive that will either be stored in a bank vault or in a safe place within your home, write out all of your domain accounts and/or passwords. If this scares you, you probably won’t need passwords if something happens to you and you at least give control of your possessions to a family member. It’s important that they know where your domain names are registered at the very least.
Thirdly, on this emergency flash drive, add the names of your forum ID, email address, friends’ names and contact information, and other vital information. It might also be smart to list a domain attorney or someone trusted within the domain community. Oftentimes a trusted family member or a friend won’t have much of a clue about domain names. Since you won’t want your domain names to be a burden to them, put them in touch with a trusted person who can give them unbiased advice. If it’s difficult for you to sell a 5 letter “brandable” .net, do you really want to make it tough for a loved one to do it? Give them an idea about what you think are your best names if they really don’t have a clue.
Think about some of these things and start planning, because you never know what tomorrow brings.
Great post Elliot – this is definitely something that people don’t think about enough. Life is short and let’s face it – Domaining only makes sense to us – to our families it’s all greek!
Good subject, still thinking..
Something I have been considering for a long time.
I think Im going to pass all this information over to my lawyer so he can then give when the time is relevant.
I suppose the only issue dealing with a lawyers is that I shall need to update this information every 3-6months with domains registrar changes and domains that I buy and sell.
So I see the Flashdrive in a Safe Vault as an easier application.
I think everyone needs to remember to do this now as you could walk out in 5mins and get hit by a bus!
I hope nobody does… that I have said that.
Great post! I actually had a client call on Thursday in a complete panic. Their website was down. With a little research, I came to the conclusion that their domain had expired. So I said, just have your husband (he handles the reg) go in and renew the domain. She said, she had to do it as her husband had just come home from the hospital and is dealing with a very serious cancer. She was just trying to get him to eat and be alert – forget renewing domains. I walked her thru the process to the best of my ability as I was not familiar with the registrar. I also said to go ahead and register it out for a min of 5 years. You just never know!
If you died tomorrow who would get TropicalBirds.com?
Good question 🙂 Whoever pays Karen the most $$$ for it!
I think it should be passed down like a generational heirloom.
Trade ya for BoyntonBeach.com!
Throw in the merchandising rights (especially the stuffed Toucan) and you may have a deal.
The toucan logo is yours!
Yes; great advice indeed.
…only wish I’d taken such steps before I passed away unexpectedly last year… 😉
Great post! I, too, was thinking about this topic this week as I was away from the family for a week.
As a ‘librarian’ I might add that from time to time you need to consider what format it is left in. A flash drive was an excellent choice (and would be choice) but only a few years ago a flash drive didn’t exist and it might have been a 3 1/2 inch floppy. Things change! Information deteriorates too.
Unless my memory is failing me, somewhere in Frank Schilling’s blog
archives you’ll find this topic discussed at length.
I think that domainers as a group (or as an Industry) must demand from the registrars to add a survivorship option to their accounts. I have noticed that in some States when you buy a car they will let you add a relative’s name as the person that you want the car to go to after you pass away, this is different than being a co owner since your surviving relative has no ownership or control over your car while you are still alive, their right of ownership begins (automatically) only after you pass away. Perhaps a similar option is what we need for domains which in this case it will be the full control of the account (including all domains) that will be passed on to your appointed relative upon your death.
PS: For important stuff like this you might want to keep a notarized hard copy in addition to the flash drive.
(not meant as legal or professional advice)
Excellent article ~ I was just commenting to my husband yesterday this *fear* If something were to happen to me – there is no one to know what will be lost.