By Darlynn Morgan, Wills Lawyer Orange County
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that my focus as a wills lawyer Orange County is to preserve not just your financial wealth, but your legacy as well. That often means going beyond your financial assets covered by “traditional” estate planning methods, and delving deep into your human assets such as family values, traditions, and memories.
More and more people are using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to record important memories such as the birth of a baby, a child’s graduation, a wedding and so much more. You will find commentary not just from the owner of the social media account, but also from friends and family as well. Social media accounts serve as a cache for photos and videos – all of which incredibly valuable to your family.
Clearly in today’s tech-savvy world, social media is quickly becoming the family’s most important depository for their memories. Doesn’t it make sense, then, that you include a plan to preserve the memories hosted on your social media accounts along with the rest of your family’s legacy?
Even though we are still at the dawn of what social media will become, the major social media platforms are already beginning to address the issue of how to handle social media accounts when the owner passes away. Here are a few examples:
Twitter recently adopted a policy to handle ownership of a deceased user’s account. Twitter requires the following information:
1. Your full name, contact information (including e-mail address), and your relationship to the deceased user.
2. The username of the Twitter account, or a link to the profile page of the Twitter account.
3. A link to a public obituary or news article.
Once you provide Twitter with these three things, you can either request that the deceased user’s account be deleted or receive an archive of all of the deceased user’s tweets offline.
Facebook has a unique feature where they will memorialize the profile of a deceased account holder. When a profile is memorialized, only current “friends” will be able to see it. It is however, still active so that friends can leave messages on the wall in remembrance.
To have someone’s profile memorialized, just click this link and you’ll be able to submit a request. You can also request that the decedent’s account be deleted using this form.
LinkedIn has a simple Verification of Death form which is easy to complete. You can find this form and the information required to close the account on the LinkedIn Customer Support Center. You can opt to submit the form either online or via fax. You will need to know the account holder’s email address used on the account. This is what is used to verify the person’s identity.
As with all other aspects of estate planning, it is important to discuss what should happen to your online profiles with your wills lawyer Orange County and document your wishes in your will or trust. If you would like to discuss this with an estate planning attorney who understands the importance of preserving a real legacy for your family, call us today at (949) 260-1400 to schedule your own Family Wealth Planning Session (normally $750). However, these appointments are limited to 10 per month, so call today!