This is a great article on CNN.com today about companies that will take care of your "digital assets" after you die. You pay them a fairly small fee and they keep track of all your email ids/passwords, bank accounts, etc. so that your loved ones can have access to them if you die without leaving all that information behind. They promise to store them securely of course. An excerpt:
Jeremy Toeman, founder of the site Legacy Locker, recognized that when he was on a plane and wondered what would happen to his online life if it crashed. While his will leaves everything to his wife, including all of his digital assets, Toeman realized how difficult it would be for her to access his accounts.
"My GoDaddy account would belong to her, but it doesn't solve the practical reality of how she would get access to it," he said. He experienced a similar scenario after his grandmother died, and he tried to get the password for her e-mail account -- only to give up because of the hassle.
So Toeman built his company to change all that. Legacy Locker allows users to set up a kind of online will, with beneficiaries that would receive the customer's account information and passwords after they die.
"We know it's a hard thing to think about -- to get people to face mortality. We know it's kind of morbid, but for those who live their entire lives online, it's also very real."
A Legacy Locker account costs $29.99 a year. Users can set up their accounts at www.legacylocker.com to specify who gets access to their posthumous online information, along with "legacy letters," or messages, that can be sent to loved ones.
If someone contacts Legacy Locker to report a client's death, the service will send the customer four e-mails in 48 hours. If there's no response, Legacy Locker will then contact the people the client listed as verifiers in the event of his or her death. Even then, the service would not release digital assets without examining a copy of the customer's death certificate, Toeman said.
It's also a great example of entrepreneurship in action. Markets give us new technologies that give us new problems we didn't have before, which are then, in turn, solved by market participants, creating new problems, etc.. This is how markets work: solving one set of problems only opens up new opportunities to solve new ones. We can never exhaust the possibilities of growth and there will always be work for humans to do.