What happens to your social media accounts when you die?

What happens to your
social media accounts
when you die?

With so much of our lives now online, whether by choice or through companies operating primarily online, this means our digital presence is ever growing, but what happens to that when we die?

More importantly, what happens to our social media accounts, profiles and all of that information and photographs after our death? What would you want to happen?

A recent YouGov survey has revealed that:

  • 67% of people wanted their social media accounts removed after their death
  • 26% of people wanted the content of their social media accounts to pass to their loved ones once they have died; and
  • 7% wanted their social media accounts to remain online.

Social media networks each have their own policies in relation to what happens to an account when a person dies…

  • FACEBOOK

Once the death is reported to Facebook, the individual’s page will be memorialised. However, an immediate family member can request that the page is removed completely.

Facebook also allows you to manage your page (whilst living) to plan for what you want to happen following your death, this includes setting a ‘legacy contact’ to manage parts of your page once it has been memorialised.

  • INSTAGRAM

As with Facebook, once the death is reported to Instagram, the individual’s page will be memorialised. However, an immediate family member can request that the page is removed completely.

  • TWITTER

If there is no activity on a Twitter account for a period of six months then Twitter will automatically delete the account.

  • GOOGLE

Google, similar to Facebook, provides an ‘Inactive Account Manager’ function that allows you to plan for what you want to happen following your death, including giving a loved one access to your information or requesting that your account is automatically deleted.

With so much now being conducted and stored online, this is an area that is certain to develop and progress. The amount (and importance) of the information, including irreplaceable photographs, that is stored online and on social media accounts means that their value is ever increasing and so it is not uncommon for individuals to include provisions for their social media accounts in their Wills and Letters of Wishes.  

If you would like to discuss your digital legacy, or putting a Will in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free consultation

Leah Waller

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