Social MediaWhat happens to your social media accounts after you pass away?

Sarah Ouellette, Paralegal

Sarah Ouellette, Paralegal

Social media planning is something many people forget about when they are thinking about their future.  Many people have accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, etc. all of which should be considered.

Facebook

Facebook has launched a security feature that allows a designated person to access your social media account post death.  Where some people may not be too worried about what happens to their accounts, a lot of times family members and friends will want to keep the memories active even after a person has passed away.  It’s a good idea to go through the security settings on your Facebook account to personally choose what you’d like to be done to your account if something were to happen to you.

Before this feature was available, Facebook only had the option of reporting a death which would then “memorialize” an account.  Now, you have the option to choose a “Legacy Contact”, which gives a person of your choosing the ability to post funeral announcements, archive all your posts and pictures, respond to friend requests, and update profile pictures.  A Legacy Contact would not be logged in as you or have access to private messages.  You will also be reminded annually about this feature should you want to change your Legacy Contact.

To learn more about your Facebook options go to your security settings and read through each choice carefully.  Choosing a Legacy Contact is a great way for memories to be saved and cherished.  This generation spends a lot of time posting pictures, thoughts, ideas, and even emotions on social media.  If you plan ahead for your tangible items and assets, why not also plan ahead for the memories you’ve created on Facebook.

Twitter

Twitter currently does not have a similar Legacy Contact feature but will allow family members to request an account to be deactivated and removal of certain imagery.  Learn more about Twitter’s policies here.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has a policy for removing deceased loved ones profile but like Twitter, they currently do not have a Legacy Contact.

Options are a Good Thing

Perhaps accounts like LinkedIn (primarily used for business connections) and Twitter (primarily used for news and quick updates) are not as personal as Facebook (primarily used to share photos and updates of your personal life) and therefore do not have the same emotional ties?  In any event, it is clear social media companies are thinking about your account options after you pass away.  This gives you choices and something you may want to consider including as part of your estate plan or choose as an option right on your Facebook account.

Contact us at Morneau Law to learn more about our creative ideas on estate planning.  We work as a team and look forward to helping you with your planning.  We offer free consultations for all estate planning consultations.  Call today: 943-5647