How to manage someone’s social media accounts after they die
What happens to online accounts when someone dies? What happens to someone’s social media after they die? Should you delete a dead person’s social media accounts?
This article provides an outline what happens to our social media accounts when we die and how best to deal with our loved ones’ accounts after they die.
In the modern world, our assets are as abundant in the virtual world as they are in the real world. Whether it be passwords, bank accounts, social media or professional accounts, we all have a digital legacy.
A digital legacy is the digital information that is available about someone following their death and is usually formed by the information they leave online. This can include, website listings about them as well as social media profiles, photos, videos, gaming profiles and interactions they have had online.
You can find out more detailed guidance on how to memorialise a loved one’s social media accounts here.
You can find more information on how to deal with a loved one’s email accounts here.
This article answers the following questions:
What happens to online accounts when you die?
When someone dies, you can do one of three things with their digital legacy:
• Memorialise their accounts
• Delete their accounts
• Leave their accounts open.
It is important that, before making any decisions, you check whether your loved one left any instructions or wishes about their online accounts.
How do you delete social media accounts when someone dies?
If you delete your loved one’s accounts, this will permanently remove photographs and all of the information stored on social media.
Before you delete anything, it is best to talk to other family and friends. It sometimes helps people to grieve if they look at old photos of their loved one when they miss them. It is important that everyone is involved where possible so they can all feel heard.
Before deleting the account, it is often best to log in and save all the photos, media and information (such as screenshots of old posts). This way, you can still look back in fondness at those memories, whilst also deleting the account.
To delete the account, you will need to:
1. Contact the social media site
To notify the site that the individual has passed away, you will need:
• Their social media username
• Their email address
• Their full name
• Proof of death (a death certificate, obituary or death notice)
• Proof of your identity
• Proof of your relationship with the deceased (a copy of the Will, naming you as a beneficiary or executor, or a birth or marriage certificate).
2. Send a death certificate
3. Log in, download or save everything you want to keep.
You will need the deceased’s username and password to do this. If it is too upsetting or you are unsure how to log in, you can ask a friend to help you. If you can’t decide on whether to save anything, save it anyway.
Each social media website will need slightly different information to allow you to close a profile.
How can we help?
Our team of experts have a wealth of experience in drawing up assisting with various levels of complexity in probate and administrations of estates.
Alternatively, we can include your digital legacy in your Will.
Get started with making your Will online here.