A number of times I’ve heard people complain that one problem with the switch from letters to email is that it won’t be around for future genealogists. This hit me as strange because email in theory could be better for genealogists because people write so much of it. The first problem, though, is getting access to someone’s email after they die. Google has come up with a solution to that problem. A feature called the Inactive Account Manager will notify up to 10 trusted contacts that they can download your data if your account goes inactive for a configurable 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. It is of course up to them to store the data for posterity but at least it is available without dealing with the legal system. As an alternative you can have your data destroyed, but that’s not so good for genealogy.
The saved data includes email, Picasa Web Albums, YouTube, and several other services. I’m guessing there will be a lot for some people to download, but this is a good service.
BTW, I like Micah S’s comment on the Inactive Account Manager page. I’m guessing his wife will have some interesting data to go through.