Social Media And Your Estate Plan
Social media. It is everywhere, and everyone seems to have a Facebook and Twitter account. Maybe you created a social media account, only to rarely use it. Perhaps social media is a great platform to communicate with children or grandchildren, or it used to store and share photos of loved ones. Whatever social media means to you, if you have an account, you should have a plan for how that social media account is maintained or utilized after your death.
What are Social Media Legacy Accounts?
Facebook, Twitter and other major social media outlets offer users the ability to designate a legacy contact. A legacy contact is a person the authorized user designates to take possession of the media account after they pass away. A Facebook user has the option to have their Facebook account permanently deleted after their death, or their account can be memorialized. To have an account permanently deleted, a relative must notify Facebook of the person’s death.
A memorialized account is archived and will bear the words “Remembering” on the person’s profile. Many people choose to use a person’s Facebook wall to leave remembrances similar to a guest book at a funeral. It is important to make these selections while you still can. Once an account is memorialized, no one can log in to it. If you choose to designate a legacy contact, they accept responsibility for managing your account and are able to add friends, change your profile picture and settings even after you pass away. Be sure to state your social media account preferences in your last will and testament as well.
Why Estate Planning for Digital Assets?
Why should you consider estate planning for digital assets and social media accounts? Primarily, leaving an account open without a custodian to manage it leaves the possibility of the account becoming hacked or compromised. Hackers attempt to illegally access social media accounts for financial or pecuniary gain. If a deceased person’s account is active and a legacy contact has not been designated, and can be difficult to reverse the damage.
Decide if you want your account to live on after you, or if you would prefer for it to be permanently deleted. Consider removing any saved payment methods from your account to reduce potential exposure. Think about what you would want, and have your wishes designated in writing as a part of your comprehensive estate plan.
Contact the Villages Estate Attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group
Even if you think digital assets seem trivial, it is better to plan for legacy or succession planning for all aspects of your life, including social media accounts. This is an easy step that our estate planning attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group can help you with. Contact us today for help.