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Creating a Will or Power of Attorney That Addresses How Your Social Media Accounts Are Handled After You’ve Passed On

EstP_6.15.19

Social media is an important part of many lives these days. Of people who use the internet, 83 percent of women and 75 percent of men use Facebook, according to Omnicore. Most seniors who use the internet are also on Facebook, 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 accounts when you pass away? Will they stay up long after you’re gone?

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.

Contact Frame & Frame, a Pasadena Estate Planning Attorney

If you do not have a specific provision in your Will or Power of Attorney, your family members will be left wondering what to do about them, and your accounts may end up staying open for years whether you wanted them to or not. Here at Frame & Frame, our Pasadena estate planning attorneys offer provisions in Wills and Powers of Attorney to state what you want done with your social media accounts and by whom. Call our Pasadena law offices at 410-255-0373 to schedule a consultation.

Resources:

omnicoreagency.com/facebook-statistics/

forbes.com/sites/abbyschneiderman/2018/04/02/how-to-protect-your-social-media-accounts-after-youre-gone/#4d7188ad4775

https://www.frameandframelaw.com/estate-planning-for-young-people/

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