Digital Estate Planning

What happens to my Gmail or Google account after I die?

Google introduced the Inactive Account Manager as a way for users to set up their succession plan. Users can share parts or all of their account data, and notify friends and family after a certain period of time.

How does Google detect inactivity?

You can set the period after which Google should consider your account inactive in your Inactive Account Manager portal. By default, this is set to 3 months before the account is tagged inactive.

Does Google try to contact you before they take any action?

Google will attempt to contact you using your recovery email if it has been set up. You will need to supply a mobile number and a recovery email with which Google can attempt to contact you with before they take any actions on your account.

Can I nominate someone to get my Google data after I die?

You can nominate up to 10 people to be notified when your account becomes inactive in your Inactive Account Manager. Included in this, you can nominate to grant each person access to some, all or none of your Google information. Your Google information includes data such as your Gmail account, GDrive content or YouTube profile.

Similarly, you can set up a customised autoreply be sent out after your account becomes inactive. And finally, you nominate if this autoreply is to only be sent out to people in your contact list.

Can I request that my Google account be permanently deleted?

Via the Inactive Account Manager, you can decide if you want your account to be permanently deleted. If you have nominated for your data to be made available to a nominated person, Google will allow them an additional 3 months to download your data before it is permanently deleted.

Please note, your account data includes all of your public data such as YouTube videos, Blogger Blogs, or Google activities.

How do I set up my Inactive Account Manager profile?

You need a Google Account to set up your Inactive Account Manager.

What happens if I have not set up an Inactive Account Manager profile?

Google allows your immediate family or legal representative to submit a request for access to Google. The request can ask Google to close your account, to refund funds in your name or to give them access to data in your account.

Your immediate family or legal representative can submit a request to Google. Within the request, they can ask Google to close your account, to refund funds in your name or to give them access to data in your account.

What information do I need to supply to request closure of a deceased person’s account?

You will need to supply the following information:

  1. Full name + email address of the deceased
  2. Full name + email address of the requestor
  3. Your relationship to the deceased, i.e. immediate family, or executor
  4. Your country + zip or postcode
  5. Date of death
  6. Accounts you wish to delete, i.e. Google and/or YouTube
  7. A government-issued ID (e.g. Driver’s License) in English
  8. Copy of the death certificate
  9. Any additional information or documentation that can help Google analyse your request.

It is important to include your wishes regarding your Google and YouTube accounts in your estate planning. Your will can then be used by your nominated executor to take actions after you have passed away.

What information do I need to gain access to funds from a deceased user’s account?

You will need to supply the following information:

  1. Full name + email address of the deceased
  2. Full name + email address of the requestor
  3. Your address, city, country + zip or postcode
  4. Date of death
  5. Accounts you wish to withdraw from, i.e. AdSense or Wallet
  6. Desired payee name
  7. The court documents confirming you/re authority over the estate
  8. A government-issued ID (e.g. Driver’s License) in English
  9. Copy of the death certificate
  10. Any additional information or documentation that can help Google analyse your request.

It is important to include your wishes regarding your Google and YouTube accounts in your estate planning. Your will can then be used by your nominated executor to take actions after you have passed away.

What information do I need to obtain data from a deceased person’s account?

You will need to supply the following information:

  1. Full name + email address of the deceased
  2. Full name + email address of the requestor
  3. Your address, city, country + zip or postcode
  4. Date of death
  5. The information you wish to gain access to, e.g. Blogger, Drive, Gmail, Google Photos, YouTube
  6. A government-issued ID (e.g. Driver’s License) in English
  7. Copy of the death certificate
  8. Any additional information or documentation that can help Google analyse your request.

It is important to include your wishes regarding your Google and YouTube accounts in your estate planning. Your will can then be used by your nominated executor to take actions after you have passed away.


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