Dead Man's Hand

What are the Consequences Regarding Online Poker Accounts in the Event of Death?

Now, let us begin by saying that we hope you live a long and happy life and are not bringing up this topic just to be morbid. In a recent unscientific poll, I discovered 7 out of 10 players, including both men and women, have absolutely no provisions in place regarding their online poker accounts should they die unexpectedly.

Playing online poker is usually a solitary affair. Wives do not necessarily know which rooms their husband may be playing, the size of his bankroll, or any of the passwords to his poker accounts.

Some may not even be aware of Neteller, or any of the other choices for funding online poker accounts.

This may be intentional secrecy on the husband’s part, or, in a lot of cases, merely lack of interest.

No matter what the reason, should the husband die, his beneficiaries may stand to lose an additional chunk of their inheritance due to being in the dark regarding the details of the deceased’s online gaming activity.

Moreover, none of them knew what their favorite poker site’s policy was concerning this issue. Everyone we asked said, “good question,” as if it were something they had never given much thought to.

So we decided to find out what policies online poker rooms have in place and to gather suggestions and recommendations as to what players can do to insure their bankrolls will not fall into limbo as a result of an untimely death.

Most of the major rooms contacted regarding this issue outlined a similar procedure that is remarkably simple for dealing with this issue. They regularly audit accounts and when an account goes inactive for a period of time, they contact the player to see what’s going on.

This is mainly for customer satisfaction purposes to see if there is a reason the player is no longer playing on their site. In this way, they would be likely to uncover the fact that the individual has died and they would then instruct the family members as to the procedure for collecting whatever funds lying dormant in the specific account.

Usually this would amount to providing a copy of a death certificate and proving their relationship to the deceased.

Additionally, the recommendations from the experts on how players could protect themselves were very similar as well:

1. Keep a list of all the rooms you have accounts with along with the passwords.

2. Keep the account balances of each up to date.

3. Put your spouse’s name on your bank account, giving them access to your online funding source.

4. If you do not want your spouse’s name on the bank account, be sure they can access it in the event of your death.

5. If you do not wish to reveal these things, document the above and put in an envelope to be opened in the event of your death.

6. Everyone should make a will and include any online accounts and their passwords.

So that’s pretty much it.

As a pointy-eared TV alien was fond of saying, “Live long, and Prosper,” but in the end, just make sure that some online poker site doesn’t wind up with your hard-earned stake.