What Happens To Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?
Social Media is here to stay and many people their social media is am important place for photos and posts of special memories. Many people have uploaded thousands of memories to Facebook and Instagram or used cloud services like Apple, Google, or Amazon to backup smartphone data. Our most precious memories are saved in these accounts. You need to make sure you have a plan in place to ensure the right people have access to these accounts without delay.
There are generally three options:
1. Legacy Contact Designation. Facebook allows you to designate a person who is then able to memorialize/terminate your account. If you go to your settings, you can generally available through the settings page on the applicable platform). While the terms and instructions may vary, services like Facebook allow you to designate a friend or family member who is then able to memorialize/terminate your account.
2. Personal Representative and Proof of death. Option two is to for an authorized person under your Will to provide proof of authorization and/or a death certificate in order to receive limited and temporary access to the account before it is permanently deleted.
3. Leave Login Access. Passwords are a tricky thing. Many clients keep a password list at home, although there are obvious risks in documenting them without safeguarding them. I encourage my clients to at least leave a roadmap listing all accounts. Generally, if you have access to a primary email account, you can reset almost any password.
Taking a moment to name a legacy designation can save your loved ones hours trying to reach Facebook, trying to preserve your memories.
Each social media social media platform has their own policy with links here: