I have about a dozen e-mail accounts spread all over the net but I keep a printout in our safety deposit box along with many other things a print-out of all of my login names and passwords in a sealed envelope.
But not everyone has pre-planned for something bad happening to them. A Marine who was unfortunately killed in action in Iraq has a Yahoo e-mail account that the family is trying to secure before the account expires. Yahoo has refused to give the account password to the family.
E-mail accounts could contain information that the family would cherish but it also could contain information that would leave a bad taste in their mouth. I think Yahoo should give in to the families wishes, but I would hope with enough public pressure they would turn the account over. [CNN]