So…have you created your social media will and discussed it with your family yet? “What is a social media will?” you ask.
Simply put, a social media will leaves your executor instructions on what to do with your Facebook, Instagram, email, Apple/Microsoft, and other social media accounts after you die. You have choices. However, you often need to designate a legacy contact who has permission to manage your social media accounts after your death.
Here are a couple of things to think about:
- Do you wish to memorialize your digital accounts or have them deleted? Memorializing often includes having a banner on your account announcing your passing and allowing friends to continue to post to your account. Your account will no longer show up in internet searches and birthday reminders will be turned off.
- Do you wish to keep your social media accounts active as a place where pictures, videos, and other keepsakes related to your life can be stored–a digital scrapbook, so to speak?
- Should you talk with your lawyer about these issues and decide how to proceed? Some accounts such as Microsoft require legal documentation for anyone trying to access your account.
- Does a trusted family member or friend have a list of your passwords in case you are unable to access your own accounts?
Some sites allow you to set up a legacy contact on their websites. Apple, Facebook, Instagram, and Google are examples. You need to go into your account settings under Privacy and look for legacy contact options. Or, you can search “legacy contact” + the site. (legacy contact + Facebook)
There are also social media generators that will help you set up a social media will. I tried Epilogue which was very straightforward and easy to use. It’s also free.
We know that accounts are frequently hacked so it just makes sense to take steps to protect your family from any problems or embarrassment because someone hijacks one of your social media accounts after you are gone. Be proactive about your social media accounts just like you are with your financial and property arrangements.