Does your family actually need your email account passwords? Think before you pass these on. Your email box will contain things that people sent to you, that they meant for your eyes only. This could be things from your friends or other family members that they wanted kept private. Passing on your email address passwords to someone after you die is giving them access to someone else’s private information, as well as yours.
Think about what information you think they need from your Facebook or email account, and then think about whether there is another way for them to get it. Do you want them to send out an email from your email address announcing your death? That seems creepy. Maybe keep a separate list of friends you want notified in the event of your death with phone numbers or addresses or emails that can be sent from some place besides your personal email address.
Also consider whether there are sent and received emails that might be hurtful for your family to find or cause them unneeded stress. Are there emails or messages from a “friend” that could be misconstrued as something more? Are there emails about a medical condition that you might not want them to know about ? Are there financial emails that could cause them undue stress?
There are some digital things you may want to make sure you family can access after your death. If you have a blog, they can archive it and put up a final post. If you have an online account for photos, you could give them the password so they can retrieve those. Likewise, if you have a Paypal or other online funds account, you may want them to be able to close that and retrieve any funds in it.
There have been a lot of articles lately about making sure you leave your online passwords so someone can access your accounts after you pass away. I suggest reviewing each account on a case by cases basis to make sure your family really does need access after you are gone.