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How to memorialise social media accounts after death

What does Instagram do when someone dies? What happens on Facebook when someone dies? What happens to your Twitter account when you die?

This article provides guidance on how best to deal with our loved ones’ social media accounts and memorialise these accounts. Write my Will online Oxford In an alternative to closing a deceased’s accounts, you can keep them active in a way to remember them; allowing loved ones to still see photos and memories. A memorialised social media account is a place for loved ones to share memories after a person has passed away. They remain visible but have key features to distinguish them from accounts of living users. This article explores the ways to memorialise the accounts for the following social media platforms: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Whatsapp Snapchat YouTube For information on how to deal with a loved one’s email account, please read our designated article on this topic here.

How to manage a Facebook account after death

The course of action depends on whether you are a ‘legacy contact’. A legacy contact is someone who was chosen by the deceased to manage their Facebook account, to an extent. The contact must be at least 18 years old.

A legacy contact can:

• Change the profile and cover photos
• Respond to friend requests
• Pin tribute posts to their Facebook memorial page
• Request to remove the page

A legacy contact cannot:

• Post as the deceased
• Send messages under the account
• Remove existing friends or send new friend requests
• Remove any posts, shared items or photos
• Add a new legacy contact.

If there is no legacy contact assigned, you and your family will need to contact Facebook by completing the request to memorialise form. The profile will then become a Facebook memorial page which can be a nice place for loved ones to gather together and post tributes.

How to manage a Twitter account after death

There are currently no options to memorialise a Twitter account, so the choice is to either leave the account open, or to delete it.

An immediate family member or the executor named in the Will should contact Twitter to inform them the individual has died. To deactivate the account, Twitter will require the following information:

• Proof of death certificate
• Proof of your ID
• The deceased’s details.

For security reasons, Twitter is unable to provide any family member or friend access to a user’s account after death.

How to manage an Instagram account after death

As Facebook owns Instagram, it follows that the process for dealing with a deceased’s Instagram’s account is similar to that of a Facebook account.

Whilst there is no legacy contact function, you can make their profile into an Instagram memorial page.

Once the request to memorialise their Instagram has been authorised, the account is frozen. No-one can add new posts, likes, tags or comments, or send messages to or from the account. An Instagram memorial page is hidden from the ‘Explore’ section and any other public spaces on Instagram.

How to manage a LinkedIn account after death

Similar to Twitter, LinkedIn does not currently offer memorial pages. You can either leave the person’s account open, or close it.

LinkedIn does allow users to select a trusted person to manage and close their account when they die. This nominated person will have to contact LinkedIn to notify them of the individual’s death, and will need to provide:

• Their member name
• The URL to the LinkedIn profile
• Your relationship to them
• Their email address
• The date they passed away
• Their last place of employment.

LinkedIn will review the submitted form and then be in contact.

If there is no nominated trusted person, you will need to decide who should contact LinkedIn to follow these abovementioned steps.

How to manage a WhatsApp account after death

You can delete a deceased person’s WhatsApp account. This removes the individual from all of their WhatsApp group chats.

Once the account is deleted, you will not be able to regain access to it. It is important to remember that deleting their membership does not affect copies of information or messages that were sent by the individual to other users.

How to manage a Snapchat account after death

Due to its premise of speed and simplicity, deleting a Snapchat account is one of the quickest social media platforms to delete.

Provided you have the username and password, anyone can delete a user’s Snapchat, if they were to pass away.

The account will consequently be deactivated and, after 30 days, it will be automatically permanently deleted. During these 30 days, no other Snapchat user can interact or engage with the deceased’s account.

How to manage a YouTube account after death

You can either leave the YouTube account open, or choose to close it.

If you have the password, you will need to:

• Access the deceased’s Google+ account (this is linked to their YouTube account)
• Go to ‘Data Tools’
• Click ‘Delete Google+ Profile and Features’
• Select the box at the bottom of the page
• Click ‘Remove selected services’

If you do not know the password, you will need to:

• Visit Google’s support page and search to close a deceased user’s account
• Enter the deceased’s full name, email address and date of birth, when asked
• Select whether you are related to the deceased or a legal representative
• Upload proof of ID and proof of death.

To learn more about how to manage a deceased’s social media account click here, and to learn about what to do with an email account after death, click here.

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.

Get started today by speaking with a specialist on 01865 507174 or by emailing us at info@adewills.co.uk.

Alternatively, we can include your digital legacy in your Will. 

Get started with making your Will online here.

Legal Insights

Confused about getting started? Here is a useful checklist to show you what you need to know, before writing a Will.

Want to know more?

Take a look at our comprehensive Wills guide, where you can find everything you need to know about writing a Will.

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