SOCIAL MEDIA AND ESTATE PLANNING
Losing a loved one is not easy under any circumstance. However, careful estate planning and record keeping can make the process easier on the ones you love. Technology in today’s world raises a new estate planning question: What happens to your social media accounts after you die?
In the larger scheme of things, considering your online presence after death may seem trivial. However, consider receiving an email from a person after they have passed or being asked to connect with them on a site such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. An inactive account becomes a breeding ground for spam and other unwelcome activity.
Many of the most popular social media sites have individual policies regarding the death of their users. For the majority of the sites, providing proof of death through documentation and proof of authorized person status (such as a personal representative or power of attorney status) will be enough to convince the service to deactivate the deceased person’s account. However, virtually none of the sites will provide loved ones with login information allowing them to access photos or read personal content on the page.
Evaluating your wishes, now, with regard to your social media presence after death can allow for your family to know your intent as to what you want done with content you have established on the various networks. Consider giving login information to a trusted family member or keeping a list of this information in a safety deposit box for easy access after your passing. Also, there are a number of online sites that offer to store this information for you. www.legacylocker.com is one site that allows a user to store login information for up to three sites for free. The user creates an account and designates a beneficiary who will receive this information after your passing.
The attorneys at TCR&J are here to help with these issues as well as all others that arise in the area of estate planning. Stop in or contact our office to pick up our “Family Records and Financial Journal” which can help with the estate planning process. As always, feel free to contact our office to set up an appointment to create or discuss your estate plan.