Social Media Wills
For many authors their social media accounts are an important part of their lives – both from a business and a personal point of view.
It is possible (and sensible) to cover what happens with your digital assets and social media accounts as part of planning your Will. We can help with Wills for Authors.
As part of your Will you may want to give your Executors the explicit power to deal with your digital assets. As a separate document you might then want to leave instructions with your executors as to your wishes as to what happens to your social media accounts after you die (and possibly login and passwords for some accounts).
Different social media companies have different ways of dealing with the accounts of deceased people.
Facebook will ‘memorialise’ an account if is is made aware a person has deceased. This means that friends and families can still post and view the page but no one can log in. It is possible, while you’re alive, to nominate a ‘legacy contact‘ who will have the power to manage your page if you die. Alternatively you can instruct Facebook to permanently delete your account within your General Account Settings
Twitter doesn’t have the same functions to keep an account running after a person has passed away. They will ‘work with a person authorized to act on behalf of the estate’ to deactivate an account. There are more details here.
LinkedIn is very flexible in its approach. It will deal with anyone suitably authorised to either memorialise the account or to close the account.
Although owned by Facebook the approach is a bit different. Like LinkedIn it’s possible to either memorialise the account or close it. There is more information here.
Snapchat is very limited in the support it gives and simply provides a form to complete to close the account. A copy of the death certificate is also required.
TikTok currently doesn’t have a published procedure and so you would need to leave password and login details if you would like the account deleted after your death.
It’s worth considering other online accounts you may have and whether you need to leave instructions as to your wishes – and access instructions – to your executors. For example, pictures and manuscripts on Dropbox or other cloud services, Youtube, Google accounts.