Heir to Trash

For those who think they are too poor to leave anything behind, just bequeath your Spam. The Digital World is now rife with riches, in terms of email accounts, uploaded photographs, videos, social networking portfolios.

If you thought you lived in a cramped rented studio apartment and have the audacity to declare that you are homeless, you are in fact occupying space. Ah, did you know that 'My Space' was moveable property? Get it? You, who played the poverty card, the hobo, the one who had to depend on social security and wait for bonuses, are rich. So wipe that woe-begone look off your face and straighten your shoulders. You are priceless.

The legal fraternity has been busy formulating Wills that leave the heirs with all cyber wealth. Apparently, people believe that after they are gone their children, grandchildren or complete strangers ought to be given all their communication. Passwords won’t be mentioned in the Last Will and Testament because it is an open document. It will be drawn separately and the inheritor may have sole rights to it.

I understand that everyone believes they have precious stuff beyond their cupboards, safes, mutual funds, and property. This is certainly a move to make the Will a great leveler and bridge the gap, at least socially. I mean, someone can leave behind a virtual solitaire. It sounds neat. But what would an heir do with ‘friends’ gathered on Facebook? And how would s/he deal with updated tweets and discover that the parent or family member or friend was really cuckoo?

Think of all those recipients wondering about the nature of correspondence revealed. It is one thing when people do so while they are alive, but after death?

I don’t think it is a particularly good idea, unless one has saved every memory digitally. I am sure if you have pictures with someone at the Eiffel Tower, that someone would have a copy. Heck, your online ‘contacts’ and ‘followers’ might have access to them if you ‘share’. With so much sharing already going on, the heir could well misuse it. How many of the friends do you know personally? So, the person bequeathed with the information could well play the same character, that is you, and no one would know.

I think what we save is of value to us alone and what we delete is not. Imagine being the legatee of an email account and just after the last tear drop has dried on the cheek you go and sign in and the first words that greet you are: “Your email account has won $ 2 million”? Would you want to LOL or ROTFL?

The latter has often made me wonder about the hyperbolic nature of the internet. Does anyone really Roll On The Floor Laughing? Then how do they manage to type?


  1. Sounds like a highly dangerous way to leave behind a legacy.
    I can see a family getting together crowding around the lawyer to see grandpa's legacy......only to find the lawyer pull up a hidden and encrypted directory with photos of grandpa trying out all of grandma's clothes and feeling very pretty...with the videocam capturing the scene in all its glory for all future generations.

    Probably safer to write a personalized note to every member of the clan, in case they all hate each other, as they usually do.

  2. Now, that's a drag! Where did you think this one up?

  3. FV:"Now, that's a drag! Where did you think this one up?"

    FV, When it has been proven conclusively today that Edgar Hoover, the founder of the awe-inspiring FBI and a much-feared man in his time, was a cross-dresser and had wardrobes full of pretty clothes that did not belong to his wife. This was during a time when people in the USA would have been horrified if you told them that the most feared man in their country loved to wear short silk skirts in his spare time, so anything is possible these days.


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