Getting hold of a web site’s content

Whether you are taking over the hosting of an existing web site, or intend to host it at some point in the future, you should request a backup and obtain a copy of it as soon as possible.

If the deceased, as owner of the web site, has not yet had their estate distributed, then the request should be made by the executor(s), with permission of the beneficiaries, who will in all probability be the owners of the intellectual property (IP) of the content. If the estate has already been distributed, the beneficiaries should request this themselves.

Whoever is requesting the backup and copy will need to supply the usual information, i.e. photographic ID and death certificate and, if the domain is registered to a company, company info.

It is essential to make such a request as early as possible, since hosts can erase content once hosting has lapsed.  In our experience this has been 3 months after hosting elapsed.