Online profiles of the deceased

The BBC has an interesting story:

Several states across the US are considering legislation that would give personal representatives legal possession of Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other online information after a death.

But privacy experts argue such legislation, which has already been passed in the state of Oklahoma, needs further clarification before being made into law.

Meanwhile, some families who have lost loved ones claim the online accounts of the deceased are an upsetting reminder of their losses.

The general principle seems to me correct. If someone can inherit bank accounts, houses, royalties from patents and other assets from the deceased, why should they not also be able to inherit the Facebook page or the Twitter account? If someone can prove that they have been left all the assets belonging to, for example, their parent, then those assets should include the password to their online accounts. Facebook and other social networking sites should indeed pass on the log in details for such accounts to the executor of the will of a deceased person.

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