What will happen to my iNaturalist account after I die?

Modified on Tue, 23 Apr 2024 at 09:50 AM

Each member of the iNaturalist community makes unique contributions to our global understanding of biodiversity by adding observations and/or identifications. We’ve compiled recommendations for an iNaturalist account to have maximum biodiversity impact for years to come, even after death. 

On iNaturalist via your Account Settings or profile:

  • Revisit your content licenses. We recommend selecting CC0 for observation licenses in all circumstances. Unless you are a professional photographer with a collection that will be managed after your death, we recommend CC BY or CC0 for all photos and sounds.
  • Select "Accept community identifications"
  • Open geoprivacy for observations that were obscured for your personal privacy
  • Add a statement to your profile about who you are, if you don’t have one already.
  • Include a link on your profile to another iNaturalist user who can be contacted about your observations in the future, if you are unreachable.
  • Check on projects you have created: Are there any projects without other admins? Are there any projects for which you can transfer project ownership to another admin?

Outside of iNaturalist: 

Your iNaturalist account should be treated as a digital asset in your will and any other estate planning documents. You should describe your wishes for your iNaturalist account, and most importantly, who should be the person to fulfill them.

For people in the United States, you can use FreeWill to guide you through the process of creating a plan for your digital assets as part of your “estate.” iNaturalist has a partnership with FreeWill. You can use their free tools to create a will or trust that works with any state and DC.

In FreeWill, you enter your iNaturalist account as a property with a primary and secondary beneficiary. You can unambiguously describe it with these details:

Website: https://www.inaturalist.org

Username: [your username]

User Id: [your user id]

Associated email address: [email address]

[Include any guidance]

Outside the United States, you’ll need to consult other resources to make sure that your wishes are legally binding.

Disclaimer: This should not be taken as legal advice, but hopefully provides a starting place.

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