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What happens to all my social media accounts if I pass away?

29 June 2021

Clare Wyett

Social media apps on mobile phone

This is a good question and one which should concern those of us who have social media accounts.

What is social media?

Social Media is, for many of us, a fundamental part of modern life and many, ‘live their lives', across the various social media platforms which are available. 

These platforms keep us in touch with friends and allow those friends to see our updates. We allow those friends to see what we are saying online and with them, we share our thoughts, comments and sometimes personal information including photographs to those who we choose to follow us. 

What happens to my social media accounts when I pass away?

When someone sadly passes away all of their social media accounts remain active. This may, of course, be a source of comfort for some families but for others, they may wish to ensure a loved one's details and information are updated or closed down but importantly to keep personal to those closest to them.

There have been, and still are, cases ongoing where families have been forced to take some service providers to court in order to gain access to deceased family members’ accounts, in order to have access to close them down or deal with them appropriately.

There is positive news on the horizon and many of the companies behind these social media platforms are now taking this aspect very seriously.

There appears to be a consensus amongst the service providers that a function needs to be developed to allow users to control their preferences in this regard. A user would then have the choice to update their account(s) to permit access to a named individual who could choose whether to have their accounts deleted.

These new functions are already in place with some service providers whereas others are still in development.  It is important for all of us who subscribe to these services to be aware that we have options in this regard and can therefore make our choices clear. This will undoubtedly assist those who may be dealing with the administration of your estate, either your family or the Executor(s) named in your Will.

 

If you require any guidance regarding settling your affairs on death or wish to discuss making a Will please contact Clare Wyett on 01302 341414