Social media accounts are defined as any websites, applications and similar electronic means by which users are able to create and share information, ideas, personal messages and other content (including text, photos, messages, other posts and videos) or to participate in social networking.
Social media usage is one of the most popular online activities. In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.1 billion in 2025.
We strongly suspect you must be a social media user since you are interested in this article.
The top 7 Social Media Companies and their respective market share:
If you are like most people, you probably have more than one social media account. The content on these sites may be openly shared or shared to a select one or few… but what happens to your social media content when you die or become incapacitated?
With a focus on the top 7 Social Media Platforms here is what you need to know.
- You can memorialize or close accounts upon the death of a user.
- You can appoint a “Legacy Contact” who, in the event a person died, could sign onto the account and pin a post on the Timeline. The Legacy Contact cannot read the deceased’s person’s messages but can change their profile photo and archive posts and photos.
- Prior to death, users can choose to have their profiles permanently deleted when they die by choosing the option under settings then go to security.
- A family member can also request that Facebook remove the profile by sending the following: a death certificate, copy of obituary, your ID, your affiliation with the deceased and documentation you were legally appointed to access the deceased’s account.
- Go to Facebook.com to locate a form for removal of an account or for memorialization or visit the Help Center.
- Nothing has to change. Your account can remain open forever.
- You can initiate their Inactive Account Manager which allows you to request the deletion of your account after a period of inactivity.
- In Account Manager, the account creator can identify a plan for the account upon death.
- You can grant access to your YOUTUBE account.
- If you pass away without sharing your YOUTUBE account information your next of kin will be allowed to access your account and/or request the account be deleted. In order to do so, they will have to mail or FAX information below:
- Email address of the deceased.
- Name of person seeking access, mailing address and email address.
- Photocopy of government-issued ID or driver’s license.
- Complete copy of an email from the deceased prior to death.
- Proof of death of the deceased.
- Documentation you have been lawfully assigned to access the deceased’s account.
- Even after providing the above information, a court order might be required.
- Upon receipt of the above, Google will verify information, approve or disapprove.
- Once you gain access you should change the user ID (optional) and Password to the account.
- PLEASE CONSULT GOOGLE.COM/MANAGE YOUR DATA FOR GOOGLE’S MOST CURRENT INFORMATION REGARDING THIS SUBJECT.
- Go to youtube.com for more information.
- In the event of the death of a Twitter user Twitter will deactivate their account.
- The only option when someone dies is to have the account deactivated.
- Contact Twitter.com and access their Help Center.
- Go to Help Center click on the option to “request the deactivation of a deceased’s user’s account” and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Deactivation can be accomplished by an immediate family member presenting their ID and a death certificate of the deceased.
- Go to Twitter.com for more information.
- Nothing happens to the account. The account remains active unless actively shut down.
- Go to Reddit.com for additional information regarding subscription accounts.
- The account of a deceased person can be removed or memorialized by a family member or trusted individual.
- To memorialize or delete an account requires proof of death, a death certificate, obituary or news article pertaining to the deceased.
- If you choose to memorialize the account Instagram will carefully control the way in which the content is shared.
- The account will be secured preventing access to anyone.
- Go to Instagram.com to find a Removal Request for Deceased Person. You will need your full name, your email address, full name of the deceased person, username of the deceased person’s Instagram account, a link to the Instagram account of the deceased person, when they passed away, verification you are an immediate family member, death certificate, the deceased person’s birth certificate or proof of authority.
- Since FACEBOOK owns Instagram their policies on this subject may be closely related.
- Go to Instagram.com for more information.
- Upon death, the platform will deactivate the profile if requested by a family member.
- The site will not give out any personal or login information following the death of a user.
- Pinterest will deactivate an account if you have the login information. Go to pinterest.com, click settings, click Deactivate account click confirm.
- Information you will require to delete the account of the deceased:
- Email address of the deceased.
- Deceased’s password.
- Your full name.
- Full name and email address of the deceased’s account.
- Deceased’s username.
- Death certificate, obituary, relevant news article pertaining to deceased’s death.
- Your relationship to the deceased (birth or marriage certificate, family tree, legal document(s), obituary with your name mentioned.
- Reference Pinterest Help Center closing an account and more information.
- LinkedIn’s process is similar to FACEBOOK except they do not have a memorialization feature.
- Your LinkedIn account remains active until you choose to delete the account or someone reports to LinkedIn you are dead.
- LinkedIn does not have a policy to delete inactive accounts.
- After death, your account may remain active which could be disturbing to your connections who see your profile.
- Go to LinkedIn.com for a FORM to request removal of a deceased’s person’s LinkedIn profile.
- In working with LinkedIn, you will need the following: your first and last name, your email address, name of the deceased, your relationship to the deceased, email address of the deceased, date they passed away, a link to their obituary or relevant news article, the deceased’s profile URL.
- Go to LinkedIn.com for more information.
Preserving Your Social Media Content & Protecting Your Life and Legacy
If something happens to you, your social media content will be just another mystery to solve for your loved ones. It will also be a potential platform for identity theft and content theft, but that’s where LEO comes in. Preserving your access credentials to not just your social media accounts but also all your personal and estate accounts makes the process of properly settling your estate easier and less costly for those you leave behind.
Life Estate Organizer- LEO is a private, secure digital organizer. With LEO you can:
- Record the account information related to your social media account.
- Legally appoint individuals to resolve issues regarding your social media account and content.
- Share your account information with appointed individuals at a time chosen by you.
- Give instructions to your Executor and/or Digital Trustee as it relates to settling these issues.
- These same documents could be used with the social media platform as proof you have been approved by the deceased to access their accounts as well as the content on the platform.
In most cases, unless someone requests access or you set-up an online tool to be activated due to inactivity in your account, nothing will happen. However, when someone requests access is when the rubber hits the road. That is when the social media platforms exercise their different rules for your account to be accessed by someone else other than you. These rules can be very difficult to deal with when all your trusted individuals want to do is achieve closure for you with respect to the accounts.
Sign up today for a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL of Life Estate Organizer. No credit card required, simple to register and get started using LEO.
Follow these steps to get started with LEO:
- Click FREE TRIAL, enter an ID and Password.
- Click submit, click Launch and you are ready to go.
- On the upper left-hand side of the page, you will see Profile Scope Selection.
- Click on the words Profile Scope Selection, check the block in front of Property, click Property and another menu will appear.
- Check all the blocks down to Other Property
- Click the Submit Button, a menu will appear,
- Click Property, click Social Media, click the dropdown menu and click the platform you want. Add as many platforms as you have accounts.
Take us up on our Free Trial Offer. There is nothing to lose and so much to gain.