Social media is widely used among younger generations, and use is rapidly growing among older generations. With most people posting about their lives, what happens to their social media accounts when they pass?
Once our loved ones pass away we may be left with their social media pages up and still receiving messages. Many social media platforms now have guidelines for how to take down your deceased loved one’s pages or put them in a memorialized state.
We have put together a summary for each major social media platform, with information on how to remove your loved one’s pages and whether the platform has a virtual memorial option or not.
Facebook will memorialize an account, but a verified immediate family member must inform Facebook. Login information will not be given to the family member and the account will have a “remembering” badge added to the profile. Content will stay visible, but the profile won’t appear in public places or pop up as a suggested person. No one can log in to a memorialized account.
You may choose a legacy contact who can accept friend requests, pin a tribute and change the Facebook profile picture. A legacy contact must be chosen prior to death, and only Facebook users over 18 may select a legacy contact. To select a legacy contact, go to “Settings” under “Settings & Privacy” in your Facebook account. Then select “Memorialization Settings” and choose the friend you wish to be your legacy contact. The legacy contact you’ve selected will be informed, and if your account is memorialized, they will be notified.
Within the Memorialization Settings, you may also choose to have your Facebook account deleted upon death rather than memorialized.
If you are not the owner of the account and wish to delete the deceased’s account, you must provide Facebook with the deceased’s birth certificate, death certificate, or a power of attorney showing you are the executor of the deceased’s estate. For more information on Facebook’s policies, click here.
Flickr offers an “in memoriam” account option for deceased Flickr members. In memoriam accounts will preserve all public content in a deceased member’s account, even if their subscription has lapsed. To request an in memoriam account, complete this form. You will be asked to provide proof of death in the form of an obituary, a memorial card, or a death certificate.
To gain access to a deceased person’s account, Flickr asks you contact them directly. You will be required to prove that you have the legal right to access the deceased’s images (e.g., having power of attorney).
For more information on Flickr’s policies, click here.
Like its parent company, Facebook, Instagram offers a memorialization option. To memorialize someone’s account, you must provide Instagram with proof of death in the form of a link to an obituary or news article.
By memorializing the profile, it becomes frozen in time, with all photos, videos, and comments of that profile visible to the audience they shared it with. Privacy settings cannot be changed when an account is memorialized. The word “Remembering” will be shown next to the person’s name on their profile, and the account will not appear on Instagram’s Explore section. Instagram tries to “prevent references to memorialized accounts from appearing on Instagram in ways that may be upsetting to the person’s friends and family.”
To delete an Instagram account of a deceased individual, more official documentation is required from verified immediate family members. When submitting a removal request to Instagram, be prepared to provide the deceased’s birth certificate, the deceased’s death certificate, or a power of attorney showing you are the executor of the deceased’s estate. For more information on Instagram’s policies, click here.
LinkedIn provides a request form to delete the account of a deceased LinkedIn member. Before completing the form, be sure to have the member’s name, URL link to their LinkedIn profile, your relationship to the deceased, the deceased’s email address (associated with their LinkedIn profile), the date of their passing, a link to their obituary, and the member’s most recent employer.
LinkedIn does not offer an account memorial option.
For more information on LinkedIn’s policy, click here.
To deactivate a deceased family member’s account, you will need to get in touch with Pinterest’s help center. Additional items may be requested. Pinterest will not provide personal or login information for access to the deceased’s account.
Snapchat will delete the account of a deceased user if they are provided with a copy of the death certificate. Snapchat will not allow anyone access to a deceased user’s account and does not have a memorialization option. Contact Snapchat to report a deceased user here.
TikTok does not offer a memorial option for a deceased user’s account. If you would like an account deleted for someone who has passed away, contact TikTok at email@example.com. Additional items may be requested. Once an account is deleted, it may not be reactivated, and none of the content or information may be accessed. For more information on TikTok’s policies click here.
To close the account of a deceased user, Tumblr requires an email request sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a link to the deceased’s Tumblr and their username. Additional items may be required.
Twitter requires the deceased’s executor or a verified immediate family member to submit an account removal request. The requestor will be asked to provide a copy of their ID, a copy of the power of attorney, and a copy of the deceased’s death certificate. Once a request is submitted, instructions will be emailed. No access will be provided to the deceased’s account regardless of a person’s relationship to the deceased. For more information on Twitter’s policies click here.
If an individual has passed away and access is needed to their account or you wish to have it deleted, YouTube requests information be faxed or emailed to them. This information includes the requestor’s full name and contact information, the YouTube account name of the deceased, a copy of the death certificate, and a copy of the requestor’s power of attorney, or in the case of a deceased user under the age of 18, a copy of their birth certificate from their parent or guardian.
For more information on YouTube’s policies, click here.
Navy Mutual is here to help with your estate planning efforts. Download our Estate Planning: Personal Log to document information regarding your social media accounts and your wishes. If you’d like to speak with a representative, schedule an appointment or email us at email@example.com.