What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?

It’s important to consider your social media accounts when making your estate plans. Do you want your accounts deleted or memorialized upon your death? Add a list of your social media accounts, passwords, and other required information to your estate planning documents so your heirs can easily and completely manage your affairs.

When it comes to death, each form of social media has its own criteria for closing or memorializing an account.

Twitter:

  1. A designated person authorized to act on behalf of the estate of a deceased Twitter member or a verified immediate family member of the deceased will need to access Twitter’s “Help Center.”
  2. Once the authorized person or family member has requested the account be deactivated, Twitter will contact them by email with further instructions.
  3. Twitter requires a copy of the designee’s identification and the deceased’s death certificate.

Instagram:

  1. An immediate family member of the deceased can request the Instagram account be removed through Instagram’s “Help Center.” You will need to provide verification with this request, such as a birth certificate of the deceased, the death certificate of the deceased, or proof that you are the lawful representative of the deceased person or their estate. 
  2. You don’t have to be a family member to report a death to Instagram and ask that an account be memorialized. Proof of death is required either by linking to an obituary or news article.

Pinterest:

  1. Send an email to Pinterest at care@pinterest.com to deactivate a deceased person’s Pinterest account.
  2. Requirements include your full name, full name and email address of the deceased person’s account, and a link to their Pinterest account (ex: pinterest.com/USERNAME). Pinterest suggests searching for it on https://pinterest.com/all/ if you don’t have that information.
  3. Requirements include either a death certificate, obituary, or news article. You’ll need documentation of your relationship to the deceased; your name in the obituary may be all that’s needed. Or, Pinterest will accept a birth or marriage certificate, public mention of relationship, a family tree, family/household records, or notarized proof of relation.

LinkedIn:

  1. Access LinkedIn’s “Help Center” to close a LinkedIn account after a death.
  2. Following completion of an online form, LinkedIn will remove the deceased member’s profile on your behalf. They will need the deceased member's name, the URL to their LinkedIn profile, identification of your relationship to them, the deceased’s email address, the date they died, a link to an obituary, and the company/organization where they most recently worked.

Check out our Legacy article on What happens when a Facebook user dies?

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Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available as e-books for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store

Photo via the UMF Social Media v1 via photopin (license)

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