How to Manage Your Online Presence After Death
Our lives are increasingly lived online and therefore almost everyone has an online presence. What happens to our digital lives after death? Potential identity theft can create problems for loved ones when online lives of the deceased are left unmanaged. This article discusses the steps you can take ahead of time to manage your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter presence after you pass.
If you have a Facebook account, you may wish to choose the option to memorialize your account after your passing. Memorialization will create the word “Remembering” next to your name on your profile to indicate that you are deceased.
A memorialized account is a place for your friends and family to gather and share memories after you have passed. Depending on your privacy settings, friends can share memories on your memorialized timeline. Your content will remain, but your profile will not appear in public spaces, ads or birthday reminders.
A memorialized account also prevents anyone from logging in. Facebook’s policy is to memorialize an account if a family member or close friend lets them know, as long as you have not chosen the option to delete your account after your passing.
You may choose a legacy contact to look after your memorialized account. Your legacy contact can only manage posts made after you have passed and won’t be able to post as you or see your messages.
Alternatively, you have the option to choose to have your account permanently deleted from Facebook.
This means that when Facebook is notified of your passing, all of your messages, photos, posts, comments, reactions and information will be immediately and permanently removed along with your profile and additional profiles.
If you wish to set up your legacy contact or request that your account be deleted after you pass away, you can simply head to Facebook’s setting page under General Account Settings > Memorialization Settings.
As with Facebook, you can choose to either have your account memorialized or closed and deleted. However, as of today (June 2022), LinkedIn does not currently allow you to instruct what to do with your account after your passing.
What you can do, however, is to give the right to request to memorialize or close your account to the executor of your estate who will need to contact LinkedIn to fulfill your wishes.
Your executor will require specific information in order to submit your request (listed on LinkedIn’s help page).
If you do not have an authorized person to act on behalf of you after your passing, your account can only be reported as deceased which will result in your account being hidden.
As with LinkedIn, Twitter does not currently allow you to instruct what happens to your account after your passing. Your executor of estate or a verified immediate family member can request the removal of your account for you.
In this article, we have made you aware of some of the steps you may wish to take in preparation for how you would like your online presence to be managed after you pass—but what about your digital assets, which can include but are not limited to your digital copyrights or trademarks, online videos, audios, photos, and documents, software and websites, databases, digital arts and designs, email accounts, digital currency, and virtual real estate?
To learn more about these topics please refer to our article: Why is a Digital Legacy Important to Your Estate Plan
Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. is a well-established Toronto-based independent, privately-owned boutique investment management firm providing customized, actively managed, Canadian and U.S. dividend-paying portfolios for wealthy individuals, family offices, foundations, corporations, institutions and trusts.
Founded in 1985, Bloom has experience in managing in excess of $2.5B in assets over the years. We believe that generating independent cash flow is central to the success of our clients’ portfolios because it provides capital for the present day, if needed, while continuing to preserve and build wealth for the future.
Follow Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. on LinkedIn to stay up to date on our most recent articles.
This content is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice nor does it constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities referred to. Individual circumstances and current events are critical to sound investment planning; anyone wishing to act on this content should consult with his or her financial partner or advisor.