How to Handle the Social Media Profiles and Accounts of a Deceased Loved One

    June 14, 2013 0 Comments

Handling Social Media Profiles After Death

If your loved one did not make arrangements for their social media accounts and profiles prior to their death, it may be up to you to decide what to do with them.

Following the death of a loved one, it’s easy to forget about social media and their digital footprint.

When someone you loved dies, there are endless challenges, emotions, and tasks that must be addressed. But in the whirlwind, it can be easy to forget about your loved one’s social media profiles. If your loved one did not make post-death arrangements for their profiles and accounts, they may show up for friends and colleagues, as if that person were still living. While you may choose to keep your loved one’s profiles up as a memorial so that their voice and images live on, you probably don’t want those social media sites suggesting that others “connect” with your loved one.

So what are you to do? Read our tips on each of the major social media sites below. 

On Facebook you have the option to turn a loved one’s profile page into a memorial. This enables people to send personal messages, view the deceased’s photo albums (depending on their previously set privacy settings), and write on their wall. No new friend requests can be sent. You can find the specific steps here. Verified family members also have the option to take down the deceased’s account completely by clicking here.

To deactivate a loved one’s account on Twitter, you will need proof of his/her death, as well as government identification of the deceased. Twitter gives detailed instructions for addressing a deceased person’s account here.

LinkedIn makes the process of removing the deceased’s account quite easy. You will need to know the person’s basic information to fill out a request, and then that request will go to LinkedIn for review. Detailed information can be found here.

Google +
Unlike some other sites on this list, Google + stresses a proactive approach to planning the future of your account. They urge people to create what is essentially a Google + will, detailing exactly what you would like to happen to your account when you die. Click here for more information.

Tackk: Another option for memorializing a loved one
eFuneral has an exciting partnership with Tackk that allows individuals to create interactive online memorials for loved ones. It’s super easy, and best of all, it’s free! For more information visit this page with instructions on creating an online memorial.

What are your personal experiences dealing with death and social media?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Nicholas Kania works in marketing for Cleveland, Ohio-based eFuneral, an online resource providing caregivers and those thinking about end-of-life with free, helpful information.

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