Death and the Internet


Just as the internet has been integrated into everyday life, it is also increasingly entwined with dying, grieving and memorialising, presenting new challenges. Planning and managing online assets and profiles is an increasingly urgent issue for internet users. Yet, there needs to be more evidence about the implications of this issue for Australians. The team of Melbourne University researchers examined licencing policies, terms of use agreements and copyright law and interviewed a range of people, including funeral directors, religious workers, internet content and service providers, and estate planning lawyers.

The project identified ownership and access issues and found that many online ‘assets’ are left exposed or stranded after death. The researchers concluded that more Australians should include digital registers in, or with, their wills, and these should contain passwords and account locations so the Executor or other designated person can then distribute that material.

  • The Report is here:
  • The Brochure for the project is here:
  • And the website for the project is here:



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