As It Is or As I Am – the Art of Becoming

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Amazon Kindles and death!!

Amazon Kindle

No, Amazon Kindles don’t cause death, at least I’ve not heard of any yet!  This is my question: What happens to my Kindle books on my death?  A strange question some may think. Being involved from time to time in bereavement counselling, plus the death of my father just over 18 months ago and my mother in January, questions pertaining to the death of a loved one need answering. Most questions relating to the death of a loved one can be found out there somewhere.  The one question I’ve not found an an answer to, or a satisfactory answer to, is what happens to all my Kindle books I’ve purchased on my death? I know that whilst I’m alive I cannot transfer my account to my wife or she, hers to mine.  My Kindle books are mine and hers are hers.  According to Amazon, the two shall not mix.  Unlike the book shelves where we mingle our books together, as we do our lives in general. If I live another 20 years, buy one £5.00 Kindle book a month, that’s £1200 of books.  If they were printed they’d immediately be available to Debbie.

So I thought I’d email Amazon to see if they had an option to transfer accounts on the death of a spouse.  Seems not.

06/22/11 11:35:10

Your name:Neil

Comments:As the Kindle content is managed via Amazon and is connected to my Amazon account I am wondering what will happen when I die.  Can a transfer then be made to my wife so she then will have access to all my kindle books via her own Amazon account?  Or are my kindle books then lost forever to my wife?  As any printed books would be available to my wife on my death, I’m wondering what happens to kindle books?  Will they be available to her?  Quite a consideration, for me, when a kindle book is virtual the same price as a printed one.  If such books are lost on my death then I’m not sure I’d want to spend any more money on kindle books.

Hoping you can clarify what happens on a kindle users death.

Many thanks,


PS You may think this a strange question, but as I am also involved in bereavement counselling it is something a future client may actual raise.

The reply (with my thoughts to the answer in-line) came back the same day, so good on Amazon for a quick response!

Hello Customer,

Further to your e-mail, I understand that you would like to know whether you can transfer the Kindle books to your wife’s account. – the when I die bit not acknowledged
The purchase and download of digital content from, including content from the Kindle Store, is associated with the account used to make the original purchase. As a result, Kindle content cannot be shared like a physical book.  – I know this generally, but what about when I die?
You can enjoy your Kindle content on Kindle devices or Kindle applications that are registered to your account. All available content will appear in the Archived Items of each device/app.
You can see all your Kindle content and send downloads to your registered Kindles or Kindle applications from the “Your Orders” section of the Manage Your Kindle
Please understand that you will not be able to transfer all the Kindle content to your wife’s account as the Kindle content you have purchased is related to your account only. – but what about when I die?
Customer feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the service and products we provide, and we are glad you took time to write to us. I have sent your comments to the business team. Each suggestion will be read and taken into consideration.
I hope this information helps. Thanks for your interest in Kindle.
Did I solve your problem? – not really!!
If yes, please click here:
If no please click here
Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept incoming e-mail.
To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our website:
Warmest regards,
Nagalakshmi Mandadi
Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.

I didn’t feel this answered the question that related specifically to my death which was not acknowledged at all in the reply.  Seemed like a cut and paste answer. The same day (22nd June) I clicked on the “If no please click here” link and asked the same question, but  hopefully more specifically.  It’s now the 24th and they’ve not replied yet.

By the way, for any worrying, thinking my death is imminent. As far as I’m able to tell, this is not so.

Just had a phone call from an Amazon representative.  Currently I can transfer from one device to another that is registered to my account and this is what would need to happen on my death – my wife would have to register her Kindle to my account, which would then download all my books but remove hers.  To get hers back she’d need to register her account again, to get her own purchased books back.  And then repeat each time she might want to read one of mine or her own books.  Of course, Debbie may not want to read any of my books 🙂  but I’m sure there will be others whose partners would want to read their partners books after their death.  Have I mentioned “death” too many times? 🙂  Apparently, in the States there have recently introduced the loaning of Kindle books.  Barns and Noble had that a long time ago with the Nook.  Amazon playing catch up?


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