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Simon Bratt Photography LRPS

15 Days Ago

Your Images (online Accounts) After Death

Not a cheery subject but one that should be thought about. I am especially reminded of this for personal reasons (by the way, i'm fine, thanks for asking)

How many of you have made arrangements (or are considering it) about what happens to your images and online libraries, should you die?
Or have you done nothing?

Personally, I have already documented all the account details and locations of my many image outlets, and made specific references in my will, as to what should happen to them should I 'shuffle off this mortal coil'.

Maybe someone can add something that maybe we haven't thought of?

What about if you don't have anyone to hand anything on too? what happens then to your account? do the site owners just continue to sell your stuff forever, and your commission stacks up somewhere indefinitely?

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Pamela Patch

15 Days Ago

Cant add anything to what you said but I have made all arrangements with my daughter to have all access to my images


David Dehner

15 Days Ago

I left my wife instructions on signing on to the sites, when and where, but I just can't get her to the computer to show her how.

I guess she's just not interested in an extra $250,000.00 a month - lol : )


Rich Franco

15 Days Ago


Yes, have done this but more importantly, have instructed the family to make SURE that the credit card I use to pay for my yearly fee, stays active and maintains a balance.



Peggy Collins

15 Days Ago

It's been very much on my mind lately for reasons I won't go into. I'm fine though. Here are a couple of things...

Make sure which each online platform that another person actually CAN take over your account. I believe it isn't always possible...for instance, Amazon wouldn't allow it.

Also, double check what you will need for another person to take over your accounts. You may a death certificate, certified will, proof of executorship, etc. You'd have to keep an updated list of your sign-in names and passwords.


VIVA Anderson

15 Days Ago

Timely advice. T.Y. !


Milija Jakic

15 Days Ago

When I die throw my body and all my pictures to the fishes..
From the other hand, If you dont know what to do with yours, you could give it to me..


Our daughter used to be in business with me and "technically" controls our small corporation. She is very tech savvy (with a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology) and has full access to all of my login/password information. She can/will help my wife manage everything should something happen to me.


Iris Richardson

14 Days Ago

Having a copy with all your access passwords etc. in a fireproof place which would be wise for anyone to have and folks we leave behind to be able to find and access. I was just stating that to my hubby who has a tendency to chance passwords but not always tells me about the change. While in Italy he would consistently change my Amazon pw. I told him we need to put all our pw in order. PayPal might be an issue. I am not sure if you can have more than one person on a account.


Peggy Collins

14 Days Ago

That's a good point about PayPal, Iris. So how could the beneficiary in a will be paid from an FAA account because they only pay through PP now.


DK Digital

14 Days Ago

I would worry about it, but frankly there isn't much value in my images and online accounts...not yet, maybe never. The bulk of my financial worth is in accounts with a stated beneficiary.

However, if my online sales actually became regular and of some real value then maybe I'd prepare a document with all the relevant info and let people know where it is.


David M Bridburg

14 Days Ago

My images are registered with the USCO. My registrations to go my three nephews and a niece.

Dave Bridburg
Post Modern Gallery


Norman Brule

14 Days Ago

Peggy..if we can log into paypal from our computer and also log into our bank, coulld not someone we give the passwords to also do that? So paypal goes to a bank account. If you can have another person access your bank account would that work?


All really good points, and I appreciate the sharing.

What happens though to someone account (images) on a platform if they die and no provisions are made? Do those images stay for sale on that platform indefinitely? with the funds accruing?
There must be a protocol? (Abbie?, when you have nothing else better to do)


Marcio Faustino

14 Days Ago

I guess I am not old enough to think about it. But even if I were old or ill I don't have anyone interested on my stuff. I guess the first who find my papers with link and passwords can decide what they want to do with it. I am used to have my things taken away from me anyway. So after I die I will care even less.

My bigger concern is me losing access to my own accounts. After the last talk we had about Paypal, came to my mind that I actually have an old paypal account in an old email address, but the company who was providing the email service does not exist anymore so I can not obtain a new password to access that old paypal account. I have no idea what is linked to it and if there is any money there. And if my phone crashes now I am sure I will have no more access to the paypal accounts I have today.



Marcio, age doesn't really matter. although I know in reality does. Most people dont think of these things until a bit older.

It's a very valid point , you don't care what happens to your work should something happen to you.Time will also change that viewpoint.

In the UK, copyright stays with the author/owner until 70 years after death, and it doesnt have to be written down and registered somewhere, unlike the US (ref. David (always the wise man) Bridburg's comment)

So apart from us actually making plans, I was interested in what the hosting platform does. Imagine, artist dies, nobody takes over their work, the images still sell. The dead artist bank accounts are now closed, the work still sells.....what happens to the artists commission? I expect its in the clauses we all signed up to, I just haven't re-read it. Note to self, go back and check them when you have time.


Iris Richardson

14 Days Ago

If there is no relative interested you could most likely make your favorite organizations the beneficiary. For instant if you are an animal lover a shelter, or cancer cause etc.
When it comes to banks you will very likely need a power of attorney and death certificate to get to the funds. Normally a band account is frozen until the estate sorts everything out. So I don't think you could simply go into paypal and start moving around money. That is something I have to look into myself.

I don't really understand why we have to go through a middleman like paypal.


I would think if you give someone access to your online accounts they should be able to change the paypal account to theirs, as well as the credit card for the yearly fee. Hopefully Abbie will chime in.


Peggy Collins

14 Days Ago

Norman and Aimee, yes, I think that may work. You know what though? I think it's a good idea to check these things out beforehand just to make sure there wouldn't be a problem.

I've been settling my Mom's affairs since her death in May. Even things like her phone service, electricity, gas, insurance, all needed proof that I had the right to terminate their services. I had to provide a death certificate and a certified will to most of them.

I do know for a fact that another POD (not here though) will simply continue to sell your work and keep the money themselves if nothing is arranged.

I know there have been a couple of discussions about this on FAA but I couldn't tell you where they are. I believe the only requirement for passing your account onto another is a death certificate.

These days, with the crazy situation with the virus, it's probably best not to leave these things until you're older.


MM Anderson

14 Days Ago

I know that I should make some kind of provision for this as I'm not getting any younger and the times are uncertain now. But my family do not really care much about my work and my sales are not big income generators. Maybe they would be more interested if they were. ;-) I have all of my online passwords handy in case they are needed by my next of kin. I suppose I won't care once I'm dead so they can do or not do whatever they want with my online stuff. I expect my physical work stored at home will end up in the dumpster anyway.


Frank J Casella

14 Days Ago

There are many artist who have passed away from our FAA family and I see their images all the time continue to sell, like an annuity almost.

But as Seth Godin Says (seths.blog) there is a difference between an entrepreneur and a freelancer. In other words, I don't intend to pass my business on to someone else, as I was raised in a family business and my parents' closed it before their death.

If my family wants to continue it they have the information in my lock box. The people who have my pictures after my death thus will have a treasure, at least I'd like to believe that.


Jim Hughes

14 Days Ago

Like I just said in another thread:

DEL *.*


Cynthia Jean Brown

14 Days Ago

Thank you for this post. I am new to
Fine Art America, and i hadn’t thought this far. I will begin to make the necessary arrangements to keep my legacy going!



If it helps one person, it was worth mentioning


Abbie Shores

13 Days Ago

Here is what I need from your family in the case of sudden demise.... To close an account or to take it over

Email (yours)
Zip code
PayPal email

I then will discuss what they want to do with them


Val Arie

13 Days Ago

Thanks Abbie!

One day a while ago I tried to discuss this with my son. Covid actually started the conversation ( I am not sick or thinking of dying at the moment ) He got angry!


Peggy Collins

13 Days Ago

Abbie, I remember you saying we needed a death certificate too. Otherwise anyone could say somebody is dead and take over an account.


Abbie Shores

13 Days Ago

No I have never asked for one. It is bad enough as it is. I find that most people do send a copy anyway so that works well


RD Erickson

13 Days Ago

Depending on timing - after I'm gone - one of the things will be the credit card will be cancelled = the account will close and images will disappear. I have them all on back up - but there is no one that will care two cents and even those will either end up in the trash or perhaps be deleted or reformated and used for something useful. I think I have a couple of years left - but it's one of those things I don't worry over - I'll be gone.


Its a very good point about the annual fee, its something that should be written down with your instructions you leave for someone else. Part of the plan.


The only point in the Contributor T&C's states if you dont have a paypal account you wont get the commissions.
Therefore as i've asked already, I assume that if your paypal account closes for whatever reason (death, or failure to keep it open) then FAA will keep the commissions after the first failed attempt of payment, i expect its discretionary, but really that should be made clear in the T&C's
It's a real thing and a real possible scenario.
Im sure Abbie will clarify when she has time.


Hans Zimmer

12 Days Ago

I just simply have noone - i am all alone! Maybe my ex would take over ... but i just don´t know ... wow feeling really sad and lonely now.


Abbie Shores

12 Days Ago

Aww Hans, You have us.

Any payments go to the PayPal on file.

It's up to the new people to change that but, if PayPal send the payments back, those will be paid again


Hans, your never alone mate, not on here. (Man Hug, slap on back type of thing)

Thanks Abbie


Douglas Brown

12 Days Ago

I have a son by the same name, so I was thinking if I do start selling significantly then I’m sure he’d be willing to take over the account. If I’m not selling significantly then I wouldn’t force on him the management of my account after all it’s my hobby not his. If the latter was the case then I would leave them here in FAA. So any future family with a similar interest to me could look them up and maybe restart the account. That scenario would be interesting and if that happened and there was a tidy some of cash waiting to be found, beyond the grave I’d be delighted the cash and artworks went to a family member with similar interests to me.

I would though ensure that FAA knew of my intentions by leaving instructions for my son to get in touch.


Hans Zimmer

12 Days Ago

Abbie and Simon - thank you both SO much! You´re both very kind.


Susan Maxwell Schmidt

12 Days Ago

I actually think about this all the time. My husby, who is fortunately on the same PayPal account, will inform Abbie I am finally out of both their hair and take over this account (Abbie, you might want to ask where you can find the body... just sayin'). All the other places on which I sell that would require action on said husby's part when a sale is made are to be closed immediately because he breaks things and I will haunt him endlessly if he even tries.


Susan, sounds like you are all over it, even down to the planned haunting.

Douglas, what are the chances of that?, your son having the same name too. a million to 1?


Jack Torcello

10 Days Ago

... I'm taking mine with me!!! ;)


Joseph Baril

3 Days Ago

Someone has to be instructed to maintain your accounts with both Fine Art America, & Pixels. The dues have to be paid annually someone to be told in text with the will.


Abbie Shores

3 Days Ago

It's one account. Not 'both'


Laurie's Intuitive

3 Days Ago

I have it in my will for my Daughter to take it over. In fact I spoke with her today and we are going to set up some time together so she understands what it entails.
Hans, I'm sorry you are feeling alone. I've had my share of that feeling even with having family. Just a thought, I wonder if there is an art student at a college who could benefit from some mentoring from a pro, and he/she may want to take it on for you? Just a thought.


Brian MacLean

2 Days Ago

My accounts, rights to images, and all my camera equipment goes to my daughter. This is documented and has been discussed. Its not the most comfortable discussion but it needs to be had


Stars on Art

2 Days Ago

Here's a wild and crazy idea, since I just noticed this interesting topic. For those of us who don't feel like there is anyone who will want or need to manage the FAA account, why not dedicate your art to the Public Domain (PD)? Maybe FAA can create a separate donation site for artists, sort of a Public Domain for former FAA artists. It could even have the same search functions.

This might allow an artist to live forever! At least via their legacy, assuming a short bio is included with each artist's donations. It could bring a ton of attention to FAA as a major new source of free images that have been donated by former artists. So the promotion of all FAA active artists would likely get more attention. Could it be a win-win?

Note that Bill Gates purchased many millions of Public Doman images from a number of photo stock houses some decades ago, created a new company called "Corbis," and through Corbis started selling the files to those formerly free images. Getty Images does the same today. And they charge quite a bit. Check out this article:

It turns out that the U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that actually has a public domain. Read up on it here:

In Europe, copyright protection lasts for the life of the artist and 70 years following the death of the artist (or 70 years following the death of the last surviving coauthor in the event of co-authorship). It's obviously unrealistic to expect someone to track down some person's death date and potential heirs, unless they're especially notable. Which means that for an artist in Europe who wants to dedicate their work to the public domain, I have no idea how they would do that, since each country may have different procedures.

But in the U.S. it's quite simple. Anyone can, while living or through their will, dedicate their artwork to the public. And if it's PD in the U.S., it can be used by anyone in the world. Here's an article that goes into detail about one form of Public Domain, called Creative Commons.

One way this could all be done is if FAA creates an online dedication form that lets any user state their desire to donate their images to the PD, before or after death. But a new question arises about who pays for this new FAA PD site's management? FAA could ask for a one-time fee, like $10, from the dedicator. Or FAA could just assume the added PR benefit to everyone would be good enough. Wild and crazy idea to think about.


Lisa Kaiser

2 Days Ago

I probably won't care much about my online images. I know my family doesn't care at all.

Because of that, FAA is so wonderful for me. You people are the only ones that make a difference along with my patrons.


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