Dynadot

Client passed away after buying name from me, still in my account?

Labeled as advice in General Domain Discussion started by Meland, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. Meland

    Meland Established Member

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    I sold a domain name months ago to a Doctor and she was going to use this name for promoting a medical franchise business in Canada. She wanted me to hold the domain name for her as she was very busy and when she was ready to start up her business in the coming months she was going to have me help her set up a registrar account in her name.

    After not hearing from her in months I emailed and called, left voice mails, skype, faxed, I tried everything.

    I then contacted the medical facility she was the director, as this info was on her emails, they informed me that she had passed away weeks ago and that she had no family as she was an only child, no living relatives that they knew of, no spouse, partner, or business partners??

    So here I am with a domain name that someone bought from me in my account
    and I am not sure what the proper direction should be in this situation.

    What would you do?
     
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  2. JB Lions

    JB Lions Santa Hat Connoisseur VIP

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  3. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    Whose name is in the whois and is the contact email in the whois yours or hers?

    In theory you would want to find out who is the executor of her will and tell them - but they might not be interested. Sales agreements and contracts aside, for ICANN the owner of a domain name is the registrant.
     
  4. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    Assuming this is .com (.ca procedures would be different) you need the consent of the registrant via their whois email address to change the registrant of a domain name. So if someone passes away and no family or executor can access their email then.. WTF?

    Do ICANN or registrars have a procedure for that - for taking control of a domain registered to a deceased person?

    Here is the GD procedure - a lot of docs needed it seems:
    https://uk.godaddy.com/help/how-to-gain-access-to-domainsaccounts-after-owners-death-8356

    General info: https://www.webmasterworld.com/domain_names/4240412.htm

    I have actually had a similar prob with a friend's domain where the registrant of their domain passed away and we can't get the domain unless it drops.
     
  5. Furquah

    Furquah The Captain VIP

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    Yeah,

    You had done everything. Now keep it & give some charity behalf of her.
     
  6. weblord

    weblord Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    trick or treat?
    maybe you're transacting with a ghost
     
  7. ramkumaritrvs

    ramkumaritrvs RapidNames.com PRO VIP

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    Yes, Keep the domain domain and if you sold it again, donate 50% in her name.
     
  8. whenpillarsfall

    whenpillarsfall Established Member

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  9. stewmath

    stewmath Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Id do a donation also, find some charity in her local area
     
  10. MadAboutDomains

    MadAboutDomains Active Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    At the risk of being completely insensitive... Don't let people guilt you into giving the money away that you rightly earned... :wideyed:. Also don't go out of your way to lose the domain that you also rightly owned. They may have passed away but life moves on. Unless an entity comes knocking at your door that has a rightful claim to the domain, keep the name and keep moving forward. imho
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  11. weblord

    weblord Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    but ghosts are entities too according to wikipedia
     
  12. NR SHAOWN

    NR SHAOWN New Member

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    Keep the domain for someone and after sold it give some donation for her name. pray for her soul.
     
  13. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    A domain isn’t a turn key asset. Without a domainer to market it (or web developer to develop it) and maintain it with reg fees it’s essentially worthless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  14. carob

    carob Active Member VIP

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    Interesting point because if there was a sales contract but the whois was never changed to the buyer's name at what point is it ok for the seller to just keep the domain? What if in this case the domain is valuable and the executors come asking for it?

    From time to time you get queries on here from a person who sold a domain and the buyer never took possession and the seller wonders if they should renew. I would guess after a certain amount of time you have no obligation to renew, but what specifies that length of time?

    Looking at it, it makes sense for a domain sales contract to specify a deadline for transfer of ownership. In fact Sedo say in their ToS that if you don't take possession after a certain point they will create a registrar account for you and push the name to it. (But I doubt GDPR would now let them share your data with a third party - the registrar - in that way.)
     
  15. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Active Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I would probably do my best not to profit from such an unfortunate situation. Holding a property of a deceased person is something that may be clarified in appropriate laws of Canada (where the domain buyer lived) and/or the country where domain seller lives. If there are no appropriate directions what to do with the domain name in either legal system - then I'd probably do my best to notify her child or attorney etc., hold the domain name until the expiration, and let the domain naturally expire.
     
  16. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    Let me first thank @Meland for posting the ethical question for discussion, and commend for your efforts to make contact. Even if she did not have family, she must have had assets, especially as a medical professional. An executor is disposing, or will in future, according to her expressed, implied or, in absence of that, statutory provisions. There must be someone at her place of work that can tell you who that executor is. My understanding of contract law is that by agreeing to a price abd paying for the domain name she (so now her estate) is the rightful owner.

    Bob
     
  17. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Active Member VIP

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    I would attempt to find the executor (matter of public record) to disburse the funds. She may have a relative in dire financial straits that the funds could benefit.

    If that failed, I would attempt to re-sell the domain and if/when it sells, donate that money to a charity in her name. Those that worked with her will know what was important to her and could suggest a cause she was interested in.
     
  18. hookbox

    hookbox Active Member VIP

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    You already sold the name and received the money. Leave the name in your account for one year and see if anyone comes forward claiming the name. A family member, business partner etc... If not resell the name and move on.
     
  19. MapleDots

    MapleDots Domain Properties 2010 - 2018 VIP

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    I run 5 businesses, let me tell you how it works in the business world.

    A client must pick up their goods, I do not chase clients, I make 3 attempts for contact. If I have pre-paids item I put it on hold for 3 months and after that they go back in stock. I keep a spread sheet and track the item for one year at which time a client can still claim it. After one year I consider the item abandoned and close the case.

    Over the years I have had two paid for domains that were not claimed, I did the same with them. My job is to provide the goods once paid and I expect the client or in your case the executor to do the same. After that I consider my job done.

    I know some of you might not agree with that but depending on how busy you are that is sometimes the most you can do. I have some pretty big online stores and have thousands of transactions, imagine if I spent countless hours every time a pre-paid package comes back. The client can contact and if that does not happen I consider the case closed.

    In my opinion the OP has done what is necessary and should hold the domain for one year, release it if claimed and move on if it is not.
     
  20. JamieHines

    JamieHines Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    When Mike Mann, Frank Schilling, Rick Schwartz, Page Howe and others kick-it' it's going to be a Piranha fest for some or at least people trying to get their gold. Rick said he have a plan though, don't know about others.
     
  21. creataweb

    creataweb Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I had something similar happen. Someone bought a domain from me (a low sale and name not really worth a lot in this case) and sent payment. After that I never heard back but I sent the auth code and unlocked the domain hoping they would take the name. Name was never taken and expired. Since the buyer paid and I didn't technically own it anymore it was up to the buyer to take his property.
     
  22. Meland

    Meland Established Member

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    Thank you for all the responses!
    Here are a few answers to some responses.
    The domain is still registered in my name/email, the name is a one word ( .net )
    The client wanted me to hold the name for her,not typical for most clients.
    I have made contact with a fellow medical colleague of the client, he did think she had a will?
    With all that said, I will just hold on to the name for a while.
    I have been paid once and lets see what the future holds for this name.
    Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment, I appreciate your advice.
     
  23. Recons.Com

    Recons.Com Active Member VIP

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    Let me guess. Was it cursed.ca?
     
  24. weblord

    weblord Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    that line there is fascinating maybe he knows that his/her time is coming and he/she wanted you to hold on that domain, well hold on to it, keep your promise, if i were you, i will create a website in honor of him/her who passed away or donate the domain as a website for all her clients. remember to put banner ads, and who knows he/she will visit you someday for the domain and your promise
     
  25. MapleDots

    MapleDots Domain Properties 2010 - 2018 VIP

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    Seriously? (n)

    You know we are in the domaining business right?
    If he/she wanted a charity a a free web hosting website he would have opened one.

    I see your heart is in the right place but it's not realistic, we are running a domaining business and that is it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018

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