Good points, Heather. Here's the current procedure, which Martyn is proposing some changes to.
The most common scenario is when someone asks for the profiles managed by an Unresponsive Profile Manager to be opened up. This is the policy we follow: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Unresponsive_Profile_Managers
Essentially, what we do if a PM can't be reached is we orphan the Public and Open profiles and we delete the Private and Unlisted profiles.
Another scenario is when a user deletes their account without deleting Private profiles that they're managing. Various instructions tell people not to do this, but they still do. In these cases, the Private profiles aren't technically orphaned. They're put under the management of our WikiTree Admin account (WikiTree-1) and are generally deleted down the road unless they're reclaimed.
I think Martyn is proposing a change to Unresponsive Profile Managers policy. Is that right, Martyn?
It is sad to delete the Private profiles that someone created, just because we can't reach them for six months. Sometimes this happens when an elder genealogist in a family passes away, and they didn't add other family members to Trusted Lists.
But to Heather's point, I'm not sure there's much else we can do. If someone doesn't add others to the Trusted Lists of Private family profiles, who are we to do it? We could easily get in hot water.