A user of Google products like Gmail, Google+, cloud storage Drive, Picasa, and YouTube can use Google Account Manager to automatically delete his Gmail, Google+, cloud storage Drive, Picasa, and YouTube data after a set time period of inactivity OR to notify a trusted friend or relative that his data can be downloaded. That set period of inactivity set by the user could be attributed to many causes. Death is one reason for inactivity. The chosen person, or up to 10 people chosen by the user, would be notified of the user’s inactivity and if previously given permission by the now departed, they would have the opportunity to download the deceased’s data. The chosen person or persons could not take over the deceased’s accounts to send emails, post photos, or load YouTube videos from the deceased’s accounts, but the data would be available for download as indicated by the deceased.
If the deceased did not utilize Google Account Manager to provide for access to his accounts after his death, there is a procedure for an authorized representative of the deceased to gain access. It is a two step process involving establishing the representative’s identity and supplying the deceased’s death certificate in the first step. Only after completing the first step may the representative go on to the second step which requires a U.S. court order and/or submitting additional materials. Visit the Google website for further information.