What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts After You Die?

  • Estate Planning
what happens to your social media accounts after you die | estate and probate legal group

Our online presence has become common in our lives. Our phones, online banking, and social media are just another part of a typical day. But what happens to your social media accounts after you die? Do you want to close and delete your accounts or have someone memorialize them? And if you want someone to access your accounts, do you want them to have full access to everything you have online?

When establishing your estate plan, it’s important to include your social media accounts.

How to Close Your Social Media Accounts After You Die

You probably have more digital accounts than you realize. You may have automatic subscriptions that you don’t think about each day. It’s a good idea to start a list of your digital accounts, then add to it as you remember more or create new ones. Let’s talk about some of the social media companies you may have accounts with.

Here are some ideas of what you can do now to shut down or memorialize your accounts after you’re gone:

  • Google
    You may have several Google accounts and different aspects for each username. Perhaps you use Gmail, YouTube, Google Photos and Google Documents. They now offer an Inactive Account Manager. This service allows you to completely delete everything in your accounts or specify a person to take over after your accounts have been inactive for a set period of time.
  • Apple iPhone
    Your iPhone has what’s called a Legacy Contact. Once set up correctly, it allows you to specify who can access your iCloud information after you pass away.
  • Facebook
    Facebook also offers a Legacy Contact. You can choose a person to control your account after you pass away. It will memorialize your account and add the word ‘Remembering’ before your name. For this to happen, your loved ones must submit a special request form to Facebook with proof of death.

Some social media companies, such as Twitter, are changing faster than we can tell you. Therefore, it is best to think about how you want each account handled after your death. Some companies allow you to decide now who you want to manage your accounts, while others leave that to your loved ones after you’ve passed away.

Social Media and Your Estate Plan

Your estate plan can include a form that lists all digital and social media accounts and passwords. You can specify this list to be given only to one person you trust completely with this information. This list, called an In Case of Emergency document, can also include your medical, financial, and personal information that someone would need if something happened to you.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you build your entire estate plan. They will help with your will or trust, healthcare directive and power of attorney. But they will also help you set up a plan to protect your digital and social media accounts after you’re gone.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

Our estate planning lawyers can advise you on the best options to help you create an estate plan that includes all aspects of your life, including your social media and digital accounts. To talk to a qualified attorney, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.

We serve Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.