A question I’m often asked goes something like this …
I have a friend who is helping with my web site. If anything should happen to me I’d like to give the site and domain name to my friend. What’s the easiest way to do this?
In most cases the domain owner (Registrant) is also the Administrative Contact.
1. First it’s worth noting that although we all generally talk about being the domain ‘owner’, it is not quite the same as, say, owning a book or an automobile. That’s because a domain name is only yours as long as you pay the annual fee. Therefore when we ‘own’ a domain name we are really just owning a licence to that domain.
2. Web sites and domain names are two separate things. A web site consists of pages on a hard disk of a computer connected to the Internet 24/7. On the other hand, a domain name is a web address which points to a web site.
3. If you trust your friend 100%, you could make him/her the Administrative Contact for your domain. Bear in mind however that this gives him/her significant powers over the domain.
For example, the Admin Contact can move the domain to another registrar without informing the owner or obtaining his/her authorization. Consequently the owner could wake up one morning no longer having control over the domain because it would be in a new account with a new password at another registrar!
You can use this link to find out the current registrar for any domain. But you might have a hard time gaining access to the new account because you would first need to prove you are the owner.
4. An alternative would be to leave mention of your wishes for your domain name in your Will. I recommend consulting a lawyer who can provide professional advice. A good trademark attorney should be able to provide legal advice regarding your domain names.