Have you set up your will yet? I know many of us don't even consider this until a wonderful senior age, when it is time to decide who all your precious possessions will go to. How many of you actually put your Steam account on it, or considered what will happen to all the games you spent actual funds on?
Well, even if you wanted to pass this glorious treasure on to someone... you can't. Valve have included a strict paragraph in their subscription agreement which spells out very clearly that your account cannot be passed onto anyone.
Your Account, including any information pertaining to it (e.g.: contact information, billing information, Account history and Subscriptions, etc.), is strictly personal. You may therefore not sell or charge others for the right to use your Account, or otherwise transfer your Account, nor may you sell, charge others for the right to use, or transfer any Subscriptions other than if and as expressly permitted by this Agreement (including any Subscription Terms or Rules of Use) or as otherwise specifically permitted by Valve.
Passing on your account is tantamount to a breach in contract as you are basically giving away a licence without Valve's permission. It's the same as having a software licence like Adobe Photoshop and giving it to someone else without permission. All those games you have stashed in your Steam account are actually end-user licences that you have permission to play, but not distribute.
Eurogamer gives an interesting take on this while speaking to one of their lawyer contacts at Sheridans Law Firm, Alex Tutty
Steam's position is that you can't pass it on, which is the default position for pretty much everyone who licenses software. Then they also do say that they'll consider things on a case-by-case basis, so if somebody dies, they will consider proof of death and whether there'd be a legitimate interest in saying you could transfer it.
I know Facebook allow, for instance, people to log in and set up an 'in memoriam' account and to take over the running of that under different licensing rules. But for Steam, I'm not aware of anyone who's picked up an account of somebody who's died and just carried it on.
Now this would definitely make for an interesting court case. I guess since everyone has signed the agreement, there wouldn't really be much to fight against. But what if someone died, but one of their children has the login details and just continues playing the games as is? Is that something Valve would actually be able to pick up on? Surely, they cannot follow the lives and deaths of every subscriber?
At least it is mentioned that the transfer can be done if permission is sought. So there is some light at the end of this tunnel. How many would actually follow through is a different story. What do you think? Is this something that would really irk you? Or don't you really care what happens to your account post mortem? Let me know.