What Happens with Your Social Accounts if You Die?
When planning for your estate, one of the things you may not think about is who will own all of your data that is out there on the Internet in the form of social media accounts. While some social networks will delete an account after being shown a death certificate, others may not. Here are a few things you should know about your social accounts.
4 Questions About Social Accounts and Death
Who Owns the Data? If you die, you technically still own all of the data on your social accounts. That is true pretty much across the board. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, you can give consent to someone else if you have a Facebook account, leaving your data to them. Twitter also allows someone authorized to act on behalf of a person’s estate or even a verified family member to access data. Just about every type of social platform has such a clause.
Does My Account End Up Deactivated? Usually, an inactive account will be removed after a set amount of time. For example, Twitter accounts last for 6 months after they go inactive. However, Facebook and LinkedIn require a report of death before they will ever be deactivated, and Pinterest accounts can’t always be deactivated.
Does My Username Get Reused? Facebook and LinkedIn will allow someone else to claim your username after you have been reported deceased and the account has been deleted. Many sites, like Twitter and Google+ will never allow anyone to use that name again.
How Can a Family Member Deactivate My Accounts? This is different for every platform. Most require a death certificate and proof of being immediate family. Some sites require more information. For example, LinkedIn needs you to know the email address that the user signed up with.
Taking Care of Your Accounts Posthumously
To make sure your accounts are treated as you wish, make sure those wishes are a part of your estate plan. The attorneys at Petrov Law Firm will be happy to help you add this important information to your estate planning.