What Happens to My Website if I Die? by Kelley Way

What Happens to My Website if I Die? by Kelley WayLet’s welcome back monthly columnist Kelley Way as she shares with us “What Happens to My Website if I Die?” Enjoy!


Many of us are website owners these days, and websites are one of those assets we would like to see last beyond our lifetime.

But will that happen automatically? If not, what must be done to ensure the website continues after death?

So, let’s answer the question: what happens to my website if I die?

As with most assets, the website will be part of your general estate if no specific action is taken. That means it will pass to your heirs if you have no will or trust or to your beneficiaries if you do have a will and trust.

From there, it’s up to them if they want to take the time and effort to maintain it.

If no action is taken, then your website will stay up until it’s time to renew the domain name or web hosting. The website will go down as soon as those bills stop being paid.

You Are in Control

But that’s the default rule. You are always free to create your own plan for what will happen to your website.

You can gift it to someone who you know will keep it going, or you can tell your trustee to keep it in trust and pay the maintenance fees for a time.

And of course, the best way to make sure your website stays up is to have your website bring in income or use it to sell a product that brings in income. No one wants to throw away a cash cow.

Websites (And Blog Posts) Are Copyrighted

Another thing to remember about websites is that your website pages are copyrighted, as are your blog articles. If you’re incorporating your website into your estate plan, you want to ensure those copyrights are accounted for as well.

One would think that gifting the website means you’re gifting the copyrights as well, but it’s amazing the mental gymnastics people can do to convince themselves they deserve something.

Save everyone the potential headache and deal with the website and the associated copyrights together.

If you have any questions about what happens to my website if  I die and how that ties into your estate plan or want help incorporating it into your estate plan, please feel free to contact me at kaway@kawaylaw.com.


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Kelley Way

Kelley Way was born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in English, followed by a Juris Doctorate. Kelley is a member of the California Bar, and an aspiring writer of young adult fantasy novels. More information at kawaylaw.com.

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