28
Mar2024
Estate Planning Lawyer

Leaving Instructions For Your Social Media

  • By Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC
  • 11

In today’s digital age, our lives are intricately intertwined with social media platforms, where we share memories, connect with loved ones, and document our experiences. However, what happens to these online accounts when we pass away is often overlooked in traditional estate planning. That’s why it’s essential to include instructions for your social media accounts in your estate plan, ensuring that your digital legacy is managed according to your wishes. 

Understanding The Importance Of Digital Estate Planning

As more aspects of our lives migrate online, it’s becoming increasingly important to address digital assets in estate planning. Social media accounts, email accounts, digital photo libraries, and online subscriptions are all valuable components of an individual’s estate. Without clear instructions for managing these assets, loved ones may struggle to access or preserve important information and memories after your passing. By incorporating digital estate planning into your overall estate plan, you can ensure that your digital legacy is handled according to your wishes.

Identifying Your Social Media Accounts

A lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer, knows that the first step in including social media accounts in your estate plan is to identify all the accounts you have and make a list of them. This may include accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, and any other social media platforms you use regularly. Additionally, don’t forget about other online accounts, such as email accounts, photo-sharing sites, blogging platforms, and online gaming accounts, which may also contain valuable assets and information.

Deciding What To Do With Your Accounts

Once you’ve identified your social media accounts, you’ll need to decide what you want to happen to them after you pass away. Some options to consider include:

  1. Account Closure: You may choose to have your accounts closed permanently after your passing, ensuring that no one can access or use them.
  2. Memorialization: Many social media platforms offer the option to memorialize accounts, allowing them to remain online as a tribute to the deceased while limiting access to certain features.
  3. Account Management: Alternatively, you may designate a trusted individual to manage your social media accounts after your passing, either to maintain them as they are or to post updates or announcements on your behalf.

Drafting Instructions In Your Estate Plan

Once you’ve decided what you want to happen to your social media accounts, it’s essential to document your wishes in your estate plan. This may involve drafting a separate document specifically addressing your digital assets or including instructions within your will or trust. Be sure to specify which accounts you’re referring to, what actions you want to be taken with each account, and who you’ve designated to carry out your wishes.

Get Help With Your Estate Plan

Incorporating instructions for your social media accounts into your estate plan is an essential aspect of modern estate planning. By addressing your digital assets alongside your traditional assets, you can ensure that your digital legacy is managed according to your wishes and provide peace of mind to yourself and your loved ones. Our friends at Bott & Associates, Ltd. know that it is prudent to have a lawyer who is experienced in helping individuals create comprehensive estate plans that encompass all aspects of their lives, including their digital presence. Speak with a local lawyer to learn more about how they can assist you in crafting an estate plan that meets your unique needs and goals.

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