Life and death online: Rules have been suggested for how to handle Web accounts after user's death

photo A Facebook logo is seen on an iPad.

What happens to our Web presence when we die?

Our Facebook pages, our email accounts, our online banking apps may seem trivial when it comes to matters of life and death. But in fact, what a person places on the Internet can be important for those left behind for reasons beyond just sentiment.

A loved one may need information from a deceased relative's email address to file taxes while executing a will, for example. Right now, though, the laws regarding online accounts are an uneven patchwork.

Different websites have different rules for accessing these accounts. States have different laws or none at all.

But that might change soon. The Uniform Law Commission, a body of lawyers that creates legislation for states to adopt, has tried to address this issue with the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.