Your will and other estate planning documents are completed, so you may think you have it covered. But what about your social media accounts? What will happen to them when you die? Do you want to leave instructions or have your heirs decide whether to delete or memorialize them?
Each social media account has its own guidelines when it comes to death.
You can delete a deceased family member’s Facebook page or memorialize it. To delete the account, you need to complete an online form and provide Facebook with documentation to authenticate the death, such as a death certificate or obituary. Or you can request to memorialize the account. Facebook requires the name of the deceased person, the date they died, and a link to the obituary or death notice.
Facebook also allows you to choose what will happen to your Facebook account upon your death. Go to Facebook’s “Help Center,” select “Manage my account,” and select “Memorialized Accounts.” You’ll have the option to delete your account upon your death or memorialize it. If you want your account deleted, just follow the instructions under the above settings. If you have concerns on how your memorialized account will be handled, Facebook allows you to designate someone in advance to manage your Facebook page following your death.
A designated person who is authorized to act on behalf of the estate of a deceased Twitter member or a verified immediate family member of the deceased will need to access Twitters “Help Center” to deactivate an account.
Once you have requested the account be deactivated, Twitter will contact you by email with further instructions. Twitter will require further documentation, such as a copy of your identification and the deceased’s death certificate.
An immediate family member of the deceased can request the Instagram account be removed through Instagram’s “Help Center.” You will need to provide verification that you are an immediate family member when submitting this request with a birth certificate of the deceased, the death certificate of the deceased, or proof that you are the lawful representative of the deceased person or their estate.
You don’t have to be a family member to report a death to Instagram and ask that an account be memorialized. You will need to show proof of death by linking to an obituary or news article.
Email Pinterest at firstname.lastname@example.org to deactivate a deceased person’s Pinterest account. They require your full name, the full name and email address of the deceased person’s account, and a link to their Pinterest account (ex: pinterest.com/USERNAME). Pinterest suggests searching for it on https://pinterest.com/all/ if you don’t have that information.
You will need to provide documentation of the death with either a death certificate, obituary, or news article. They also require documentation of your relationship to the deceased; your name in the obituary may be all that’s needed. Pinterest will also accept a birth or marriage certificate, public mention of relationship, a family tree, family/household records, or notarized proof of relation.
Access LinkedIn’s “Help Center” to close a LinkedIn account following a death. After you have completed an online form, LinkedIn will remove the deceased member’s profile on your behalf. They will need the deceased member's name, the URL to their LinkedIn profile, identification of your relationship to them, the deceased’s email address, the date they died, a link to an obituary, and the company/organization where they most recently worked.
Adding a list of all your social media accounts, passwords, and other required information to your estate planning documents will ensure your heirs can easily and completely manage your affairs.
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