Monday, February 16, 2015

Include Your Social Media Accounts in Your Final Arrangements

Talking about writing a will has to be one of the top ten most uncomfortable conversations.  But any family that has had to settle an estate will tell you the effort will make the process easier on the survivors.

Social media networks now have procedures in place to close or otherwise address the status of your accounts after your passing.  Some people find comfort in reviewing old posts and photos by their loved one;  others are just creeped out.

For both LinkedIn and Twitter, a next of kin or executor can contact the admin desk and make a request.

LinkedIn:  Deceased LinkedIn Member - Removing Profile
There is a form at the link to fill out and the information they require is:
  • The member's name
  • The URL to their LinkedIn profile
  • Your relationship to them
  • Member's email address
  • Date they passed away
  • Link to obituary
  • Company they most recently worked at
Profiles will be completely removed and not preserved

The information required to deactivate the account is basically the same as LinkedIn.  However, Twitter also requires that the person reporting the death provide a copy of their legal ID.  AND - all information has to be sent via US Mail to an address listed at the above link.  The process takes a while.

Facebook has taken a proactive approach.  Every member is now permitted to designate a Legacy Contact, who can perform some management tasks after your passing.  They won't be able to post as you, but they can change pictures, decide to download your photos, etc.  

Best of all, you don't have to jump through a ton of extra hoops to have an account managed for a deceased person.  The Memorialization Request is simple and just requires a single proof (online obituary, etc) to show the person has actually died.  Once that is confirmed, the Legacy Contact can take over the account per the deceased owner's request.  (More about Memorialized Accounts on Facebook.)

Take a few moments and make future plans for your social media.  It will make the details easier on your survivors.