Social media accounts are often forgotten in cases of death. Each social media company deals with ownership after death differently. Let’s take a look at the main social media companies and what their policies are.
Often, Facebook accounts are memoralised, for people to continue sharing messages and memories of the deceased person. This still means a family member or a friend needs to gain access to your account without the details. Facebook requires whoever is in charge of your estate or your trustee to inform them of the death to gain access. A proven immediate family member may also gain access. Alternatively, they can also request for it to be removed. It’s possible you may also need a court order in certain situations.
Twitter requires a verified family member or person in charge of your estate to deactivate the account. In some cases, a death certificate or further documents may be needed.
The business social account is significantly easier to deactivate. All that’s needed is basic information about you: your name, your date of birth, your LinkedIn profile link, the last job you had, date of death, and a link to an obituary. Your account will then be removed.
Out of the four, Google is the only one which allows you to set up an automatic deactivation. Under its Inactive Account Manager, you can set the time after which your account will be deleted following inactivity. So, if you select “six months” as this time, your account will automatically be deleted after six months. Of course, Google will warn you of this with an email, so you can also set this email alert to go to an alternative email address.
While most of these don’t seem too taxing, it’s important to note that your family members may have more difficulty proving their relationship to you if you have a completely different name on one of these accounts.