social-media-willMost of us know that we need a will. However, most Americans have not found the time to document out their last will and testament. These documents can dictate everything from charitable giving to the division of your assets upon your demise.

Now, according to a recent announcement from the U.S. Government, we may have an even stronger need to create a will. It’s been advised that we create a social media will. This legal documentation will serve as a guideline for how we want our social media profiles handled upon the event of our death and who should handle them. Social media wills can be written as their own document or can be written as part of a more traditional last will and testament.

The executor of your social media wills would be charged with closing your social media profiles, email accounts, blogs and any other applicable online presence you may have. In crafting the specifics of your social media will, there are a few things you may want to consider.

Considerations for crafting a social media will

  • How do you want your accounts handled? – Before you can begin to create a social media will, you need to decide what types of accounts you would like managed and how you would like them handled. Take time to ensure that you have considered each platform individually as not all platforms offer the same services. As a result, how you want each account handled can differ drastically.
  • What are the terms of service? – Be sure you understand what the site does and does not allow with regards to usage. They may or may not allow a third party to close the site for you. They may require proof of death in order to close the account. Make sure that what you’re asking follows the terms and service of each platform.
  • Would your friends and family like to visit the site? – Some sites allow you to keep your profile post-humously so that friends and family members can visit and find community in remembrance of you. If you feel you’ve created something that could have lasting impact on your community, you can consider leaving the account open for that purpose.

Tips for creating a social media will

  • Account access – Be sure the executor of your social media will knows where you hold accounts. Allow them to gain access easily by letting them know the username and password to each account so they can easily take action with each profile.
  • Be clear – Make sure that the action you’d like taken with each site is clear. If you’d like some to remain open and others to be closed, be very specific so there is no confusion as to which is which.
  • Provide a death certificate – In order to facilitate this process, it is important that your will stipulates that your executor of your social media will is provide a copy of your death certificate. Depending on the terms of service, this can be crucial for your executor to provide in order to see your wishes carried out.

There are many reasons to have a will. However, as our technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds, it seems more and more likely that we will need a way to bequeath our digital legacies as well as our brick and mortar ones.

About KristinZaslavsky (283 Posts)

Kristin has spent her career designing marketing applications that are easy to use, making technology adoption easy on businesses and their clients. She loves nothing more than to patiently show people that technology doesn't need to be scary (even though it sometimes feels like it does).


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