Accessing a Decedent’s Yahoo! Mail Account

If a family member or fiduciary would like to access a deceased person’s Yahoo! Mail account (Yahoo!’s free Web–based e–mail service), hopefully, the person planned ahead and left the account username and password. If not, it may be possible to access the e–account from the deceased person’s home computer or smartphone—the password may be saved to automatically log into the account.

If you don’t have the password, Yahoo! has a forgotten password page to try. Otherwise, Yahoo! does not have a clear procedure on their Web page for a personal representative (executor) of the person’s estate to follow for access to the decedent’s e–mail. Section 27 of the Yahoo! Terms of Service states that the Yahoo! account is not transferable and your rights to the contents of your Yahoo! account terminate upon death. However, Yahoo! did honor a Michigan probate court’s order to turn over the e–mails from the account of a decedent in In Re Ellsworth, No. 2005 296, 651–DE (Mich. Prob. Ct. 2005).

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