Google has launched a new Inactive Account Manager, and while its name doesn't sound that bad, it's actually a pretty morbid service. Inactive Account Manager is specifically aimed at helping you plan what happens to your Google account once you die.
Inactive Account Manager is available on your Google Account settings page. You can choose for the settings to kick in after three, six, nine, or 12 months of inactivity (aka death).
You have the ability for all of your data from Google's services to be deleted or shared: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube. If you choose to share the data, you can select up to 10 trusted contacts to receive it from some or all of the services, with a personal message.
Before Google takes any action, it will attempt to contact you by cellphone or a secondary email address, just in-case you've switched to a different email provider.
While physical documents may be easy to access when you pass, online accounts are much more difficult for families because of their secure nature. In the past, Google allowed family members to take over an account after a lengthy approval process of birth certificates and drivers licences to verify. As for Facebook, it doesn't allow family members to recover accounts. It varies from service to service.
So many people's live are embedded within Google's services, especially now with Android. It seems like a great idea. "We hope that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife — in a way that protects your privacy and security — and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone," wrote the folks at Google.