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Domain where registrant is deceased

 5:40 am on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi all.

There's a domain name that I am interested in where the official registrant (visible in whois) is deceased. I seems also the company he worked at, who is also listed in whois as owner, has ceased to exist, phone numbers are out of service. The domain name has no content but emails still goes through.

Is there no requirement that the owner of a domain must be alive and/or a company listed as registrant must still be in business?

I'm wondering if there's any way I can get my hands on this domain due to the above.

The domain has been renewed once though, so it's unfortunately (for me) not a completely forgotten asset.




 12:45 pm on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

A domain name is an asset.

Simply being dead is never going to invalidate a domain name registration. Provided contact can be made with the executor of the will, it's hard to see that any rules being broken. However, registering a domain in the name of someone who is already dead would not be allowed.

If a company goes bankrupt, the liquidator/administrator may choose to dispose of the domain name by any means he/she chooses, including letting it expire.

If you want to buy the domain name, your only option is the usual channels.



 5:55 pm on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

You might investigate where the person lived/died to see if his/her will has been "probated" or if someone has been appointed administrator for the estate.

the usual channels

Or, in this case, the unusual channels: psychics, mediums, spiritual advisors, etc. :P


 6:06 pm on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ah, the SyFy Channel!


 5:00 am on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies.

I think spiritual advisors might do the trick here :)

The problem is that the phone number to the company as mentioned is not in service and my guess is the email address is not monitored (or it is monitored and they're not just interested).

I used Network Solutions Certified Offer-service, but failed to check they would only try to contact the seller through email, something I'd already tried a couple of times with no result.

Guess I need to do some traveling to investigate where the person lived!



 11:21 am on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

Guess I need to do some traveling to investigate where the person lived!

Do we assume that a real postal address is in the whois?

How far from you is the supposed address?

Do you have census or death records you can cross check? The death records should show who the funeral director was and maybe they can point you in the right direction.


 2:07 am on Dec 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you've exhausted every means of reaching the registrant but no dice, then practically only option left is to wait for the domain to expire and do a backorder with the top players.



 3:22 am on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Have you tried sending postal letters (remember those?) to each of the addresses in the whois, with receipt confirmation?

That might well reach an executor, or somebody else dealing with winding up the affairs. Even if the company is out of business, the mail may be forwarded (or you may get it returned, confirming that).

Have you confirmed that the company is in fact out of business, at the state/province or national company registry? Many of those are now online, making them easy to check.


 10:23 am on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

The executor may not be aware of the domain ownership of course or may just think doing anything about it apart for let it expire is "too difficult".

That is a thought for all of us, in the event of accident or illness would those handling our afairs know what on-line assets we have? There isn't the same paper trail that there is with bank accounts and insurance policies.


 10:46 am on Dec 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I appreciate all your answers. I will look to see if I can find some online company registries and also send a postal letter to the address listed to see if it get's forwarded to a possible executor.

Thanks again!

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