GoDaddy service : Suggest I invest in GoDaddy?? Domains - After Death?

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I mean, let's say the /img/avatar5.jpg just died, without any instructions.

Do normal laws apply and transfer to the next of kin, or is it left to rot?.

Just curious, that's all...

Comments (27)

There's legal precedent treating domains as property. So if someone passes away, his domains should revert to his estate, assuming his heirs are interested. If the renewal fees are not paid by someone/anyone, I guess the domains die a natural death...

Comment #1

Well if I ever get to the stage where I know I'm going to die in the next year or so then I will pay the next 10 years renewal on all my domains lol!!..

Comment #2

Which means whoever inherits his estate, inherits his domains as well?..

Comment #3

The domians would be part of the estate I presume. I guess you would have to have the executor of the will send a death certificate to the registrar and to have the domain registered to a new owner, weather it's the next of kin or to the executor himself. If there is no will, it might be a little bit tougher to get the domains since you would have to prove you are entitled to the domains. The estate would have to go to probate court and the courts would decide who gets what. But that can be time consuming and the domains could expire.

I beleive this to be accurate, if I am mistaken, please let me know...

Comment #4

I would assume that having domain is like a having service not property. I pay for electricity and I have it, I dont pay - I dont have it. so yes if your spouse or kids know passwords to enter into your domains to renew them, when it is becoming their service. if not, like I said no money- no electricity, it's just die naturally..

Comment #5

Or you can try GODADDY new service know as "Appoint an AccountExec" Netsol also provide this type of service. Create a secondary account and put a clause in your will that the username and password of secondary account should be only given to person after you died. I don't have any valueable names so no worries here ...

Comment #6

However, is it possible to specify a recipient in a will?.

And BTW, I am NOT dying, just a curious question...

Comment #7

Hmm, great question, and good answers to, but what would suck, is if your heirs have no idea what a domain is really, cuz since I'm young and if I died right now, my dad would most likely get my domains, but he would have no idea what to do with them..

Comment #8

So now we are treating domain names like people..

Comment #9

Well sort of.

You get a slave for a few thousand bucks, a domain can cost ten times that much..

Comment #10

So only people can have natural deaths? Is that what your saying JoshHendo?..

Comment #11

Only to California-based users at least, based on the case.

Registrars don't care what goes on behind the lives of domain owners. All they.

Know (and care about) is the domains are in their systems for however long.

They're registered for.

If the registrant dies, someone has to notify the registrar of such if s/he's to.

Gain access to it. Depending on the registrar, they might ask the person to fax.

"proof" of their claims.

Let's say I leave a will where my wife will claim ownership of the domain name.

Upon my death. When that eventually happens (and I hope it's not anytime.

Soon, knock on wood), my wife will contact the registrar and explain what had.


More often than not, the registrar might ask my wife to fax a letter requesting.

Access to the domain name along with my death certificate, a copy of the will.

Bequeathing my domain to her, and a photocopy of her state-issued ID (like a.

Driver's license). This, of course, is all assuming the domain name hasn't been.

Deleted due to expiration yet.

Just ask your registrar what to do in case this happens. Then prepare for that.


Comment #12

Well, No, yes, no :\.

It really only sounds like something you would say for a living things, and domains arn't living, so therefore cannot die. The title yes is domains after death, though the death is refering to a human :S..

Comment #13

Well, I guess the simplest way would be to let your next of kin know your username and password. Then they can take control of your domains if you die, go into a coma for 6 months etc..

Comment #14

Sometimes people die unexpectantly, like due to old age.

Only when everyone can predict their own deaths, will that happen...

Comment #15

If your next of kin knew your user name and password, they could just push your domains into an account in their name....If you leave clear instructions.

Is it possible to have two names on the "who is" information, just like you can on savings and checking accounts?..

Comment #16

In this context, yes. Registrars are not instruments of the inheritance laws of the planet.

Applying anything from the case is irrelevant, even in California. The case was a federal court case involving a number of different types of legal claims, and incident to one of those claims the federal court had to figure out how the California courts *might* rule on whether domains were subject to a conversion (common law theft) claim. What a federal court thinks on a state law issue is not even binding on the courts of that state.

Inheritance law is firmly within the jurisdiction of state courts. For a good clue on how state courts actually treat the issue, e.g. the state supreme court of Virginia:.

Irrespective of how a domain name is classified, we agree with Umbro that a domain name registrant acquires the contractual right to use a unique domain name for a specified period of time. However, that contractual right is inextricably bound to the domain name services that NSI provides. In other words, whatever contractual rights the judgment debtor has in the domain names at issue in this appeal, those rights do not exist separate and apart from NSI's services that make the domain names operational Internet addresses. Therefore, we conclude that a domain name registration is the product of a contract for services between the registrar and registrant.

That case involved a bankruptcy creditor trying to garnish a domain name from a debtor.

You want to pay sales taxes and property taxes on domains... you want to have registrars fooling around with divorce proceedings while spouses fight over them... you want your creditors to attach them.... fine, call 'em property. Um... I expect to die when I am old.

Dying at a young age is "unexpected"...

Comment #17

And some of you complain domain names should be treated as property?..

Comment #18

There are plenty of types of property that dont involve tax. I own a TV and have never paid a cent is tax on it. By the same token there are plenty of services that do involve a tax. How many people pay GST on their cable service?.

I dont want registrars fooling around with anything, but I can see many reasons why domains should be considered in a divorce. If a couple with a business split up its likely theyll each get a share of it. Why should one of them get to own the domain name that business uses simply because he/she was the one who registered it?.

I think allowing creditors to attach names is a great idea. Why should someone be allowed to borrow money, use it to buy and promote a domain name and then go broke keeping the name that was bought and marketed with my money?.

There are also a number of reasons it would be nice to have a domain considered property when filing tax.

I appreciate there are reasons and precedents as to why names arent considered property but that doesnt mean I have to like it. Ill call them property and hope it catches on..

Comment #19

Intreating I was thinking of this just the other day now I think I have my answer..

Comment #20

Yep, just put it on Visa, and they can bill ya, lol...

Comment #21

No major court examples regarding the net are only state-wide, or even country-wide. The web is international, and the case was a huge one. (So was the case.) But as to the other poster seeing domain holdings as a mere "service," I'd say no, it's more like actual real estate (aka cyber real estate or electronic real estate - "ereal estate"? - take your pick).

Point is that if you think about it, the web is already set up just like a real estate office - having buyers and sellers of both personal "houses" and business "buildings" (depending on how the domains are used), helpful registrars ("agents"), etc. The only thing missing is that you never have to mow the lawn!.

Regarding domain-owning people passing on, as soon as they find out they're in deep physical trouble, right away they should transfer their domain properties (forget trying to shoehorn it into a will) to whichever relative (or even friend) whom they want to see owning their favorite "web homes.".

Of course, in the rare case of suddenly getting hit by a truck (or a major coronary), even then the family (which hopefully is aware that the guy owned domains) can still step in and notify the registrar about what they want done with them...

Comment #22

I don't know what you are trying to say there, but if you bring a case in a Virginia state court, they aren't going to give a hoot what happened in the case - which was a federal court in California. A VA state court is going to follow the VA Supreme Court. Period.

Now, if you have some reason as to why a VA state court is going to care what goes on in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, then let's hear it.

Otherwise the law that gets applied to your case is the law of the jurisdiction where you bring your case. That's how courts work...

Comment #23

Don't domains live forever ? They Just change owners right ?

Comment #24

They can be a part of the estate, but I think if the deceased hasn't left username/password info to his registrars then people may have a hard time actually getting them...

Comment #25

Ah, but we can only wish we can keep our registered domain names forever.

They can change owners. But only if one bothers to do so with their registrar...

Comment #26

I would set it on autorenew in GoDaddy. Then monetize them ins such a way that they earn atleast their own renewal fees. Also I will keep some amount in my paypal. So no worry for next 1000 of years.

Means only if paypal and internet survives next 1000 years...

Comment #27

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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