Social media is an important part of our lives these days. Most seniors, who use the internet, are on Facebook or other platforms, which can be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends. Other forms of social media have grown in popularity in the last decade as well, including Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, online dating websites, Snapchat, YouTube, and many others. Users share thousands of pictures and posts on these internet sites. But what happens to all of your social media accounts after death? Who has the ability and authority to access social media accounts?
How Accounts Get Deleted or Shut Down
How are social media sites deactivated when you are no longer around to do it yourself? The answer is: it depends. It depends on the specific website’s protocol. Some, such as Twitter, require a family member to present a copy of their identification and your death certificate for your account to be shut down, according to Forbes. Of course, if your family members have access to your login and password information, they can deactivate your accounts as if they were you, though that is not technically the correct way to do things. Almost all social media require family members to present some form of identification, authorization to act on your behalf, and proof of your death.
Facebook Offers a Memorialized Account and a Legacy Contact
Many people still visit the Facebook accounts of their friends and relatives long after they have passed away. For some, this serves to memorialize the loved ones. But not everyone wants their Facebook account to be up for years after they have died. If you wish to have your account deactivated, this should be stated in your Power of Attorney and/or Will. On the other hand, Facebook offers a memorialization of deceased users’ accounts. This memorialized account can be closed, or friends can still have access to the account to post messages and add pictures. A legacy contact can also be added so that your profile photo can be updated, and friends accepted. This may be appealing for some. Others still may be extremely opposed to this idea. The only way for your loved ones to know what you want is to give specific instructions in your legal documents, such as a Will or Power of Attorney.
Store Your Information Securely
Many people don’t want to keep their social media accounts after death, but who knows your logins and passwords? After you pass away, it may be important to provide someone access to your accounts. Our ePlan365 platform helps you determine what you want to provide, to whom, and under what circumstances. In addition, is a comprehensive digital archive with industry-leading security technology. Learn more about ePlan365.
Contact the Lawyers at Frame & Frame, a Maryland Estate Planning Attorney
If you do not have a specific provision in your Will or Power of Attorney, your family members may be left wondering what to do about your social media accounts. In some cases, they may stay open or even be hacked. At Frame & Frame, our Maryland estate planning attorneys offer guidance on how to structure Wills and Powers of Attorney so that your family has a plan! Call our Maryland law offices at 410-255-0373 or schedule a consultation right now.