What happens to your digital assets after you die? Can voice assistants allow your voice to live on? Is there a risk that your Alexa data could be used to defraud others? Can your surviving family members look through your email? These are issues we discussed in a recent episode of our podcast titled, Email After You Die

The Pros and Cons of Voice Assistants 

Voice assistants are a wonderful technology that makes our lives so much easier. Whether you’re using Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri, with simple voice commands, you can  

  • Play music 
  • Control your smart home 
  • Get answers to questions 
  • Listen to audiobooks 
  • Get the news and weather 
  • Control your television 
  • Make phone calls 

But there is a dark side to these artificial intelligence voice assistants. They are always listening. They’re collecting data about you so companies can provide more targeted advertisements for you. They can even keep you alive after you die — well, at least your voice stays alive

Cybercriminals could use your voice to scam others. Criminals could use your voice to target your relatives with requests for money. If you’ve passed away when criminals use your voice, can you imagine the horror of the recipients? What if your surviving spouse has dementia and receives a call beyond the grave? To prevent these issues, you must use good security measures when using voice assistants. 

Voice emulation is an emerging privacy threat, but another issue that’s been around for a while is what happens to your email accounts after you die. 

What Happens to Your Email Accounts After You Die? 

With work email, businesses usually have a plan for getting into the account to get relevant business communications. But what about personal email accounts such as Gmail? This is part of 21st century estate planning. It may be a good idea to decide who can access the account and to what extent. But your first step should be to inform the email provider about how to handle the account. 

Google makes this easy through its inactive account manager. Using this service, you can decide when Google should consider the account inactive. Should it be after three months of no use? Or should it be after six or nine months of no use?  

You can also decide who to notify when your account has been inactive for a certain period. And you can decide what information, if any, to share with surviving friends and relatives. Google will delete all your account information if you so choose. 


Get in touch for more information about estate planning custom-tailored for your unique situation. Or call us today at (801) 951-0500. At Voyant Legal, our attorneys look forward to protecting the digital assets that matter most to you.