Taking care of your online accounts after you die

Taking care of your online accounts after you die

Taking care of your online accounts after you die

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your digital accounts after you pass away? If so, you might want to read on.
When you make a will in today’s world, it’s essential that you make provisions for what you want to happen to your online accounts after you pass away. Although you may be concerned with protecting your privacy and dignity after you die, you may also have valuable photos and videos that you want to be accessible to your loved ones once you are no longer around. Much of this content is likely to be hidden away behind passwords and robust security settings. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to ensure your digital assets can be accessed following your death.

Deletion or Memorialise
Most social media platforms have introduced policies for when you pass away. When it comes to Facebook, you can choose to have your account deleted or memorialised. Your chosen representatives will need to provide Facebook with a death certificate and evidence that they are a close relation or your executor if your account is to be deleted. Alternatively, you can nominate a loved one as a ‘legacy contact’ if you want to have your account memorialised. The legacy contact will be able to download content like posts, pictures and videos from your social media account and accept friend requests, but they won’t be able to read your old messages.
You can also have your Twitter account deactivated when you die. The company will require a copy of your death certificate as well as your representative’s proof of identity. With LinkedIn, your representative will need to provide a small amount of additional information including the date you died and your most recent employer. They will also be able to link to an obituary. You can also have your Instagram deleted or memorialised, and you can decide whether you want your Gmail account deleted following your death.

Digital Executor
If you have started to think about what will happen to your online accounts after your death, one of the first things to do is choose a digital executor who can act as your representative and carry out your wishes. You can give the person the legal authority they require to act on your behalf by naming them in your will. You should provide the person with a list of all your digital accounts, but you will not need to provide them with the passwords.

Make it legally binding
As the process can differ from one service to another, it’s a good idea to research their individual policies so you know exactly what is required. When you have drawn up the list of digital services, you should add instructions on what you want your representative to do regarding each platform. Make sure the document can be easily accessed when you die and that your chosen representative knows where it is. To make your wishes legally binding, contact us today so we can include them in your will. You may also wish to make back-up copies of any important photos and videos in case there are any problems with accessing your accounts.

If you do need to write or amend a will to make your digital wishes legally-binding, contact us today.