The Library

Managing Accounts

Browse our expert advice
Gaining access to your loved one’s digital accounts

Gaining access to online accounts can be very simple, if you have access to their computer or their phone. There are several ways to try to get into these, including finding passwords and enlisting the services of a computer technician.

Saving data when closing accounts

When going through your loved one's digital affairs, you will need to figure out how to locate all of their accounts and close or transfer each one. Before you close anything, however, you will want to make sure to preserve the most valuable data.

Looking for your loved one’s accounts

Like most of us, your loved one probably had dozens of accounts, memberships, and subscriptions that will now need to be canceled. This can be a big job, but with some organization and a bit of investigative work, it shouldn't prove a big challenge.

Loss is hard. Its vocabulary shouldn’t be.

We speak the specialized language of estates and funerals so you don’t have to.


The person appointed by the court to handle the estate of someone who dies without a will.

The duties of an administrator are similar to those of an executor, but as there is no will to execute, he or she is named administrator and distributes assets according to a procedure dictated by state law.


The sum total of someone’s net worth, including all assets. From a legal standpoint, an estate is not simply everything the person owns, but the value of all of these assets minus any debts or other liabilities. Estates are calculated differently depending on their purpose.
For example, the taxable estate may include assets that are not in the probate estate.


A service held to commemorate someone’s life. Memorials are generally considered distinct from funerals in that they are held without the body present and are not focused on the burial, although services where the urn with the loved one’s ashes is present are also called memorials. Traditionally, a funeral is a more formal service while memorials are often more unstructured.

To see the full glossary