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Is There a Digital Afterlife?

Social media iconsWe currently live in an era where our grandchildren will have access to everything we are currently posting online. In many ways, we are defined by our emails, pictures, Facebook likes, and tweets.

Typically, we make serious plans on who will get our houses, cars, money, and property when we die. But have you ever considered who will own – or control – your emails, online pictures, Facebook account, or social media profiles?

Recently Google launched a new feature called Inactive Account Manager. This feature allows a person to tell Google what to do if an account becomes inactive for any reason. You can choose to have your account deleted after various periods of inactivity, or you can select people you trust to receive the data from most of Google's most popular services, including Gmail, Google Plus, Contacts, Google Voice, Picasa, and YouTube.

Google hopes that the service will allow users to plan for the "digital" afterlife in a way that is safe and protects your loved ones.

Read Google's explanation about the new Inactive Account Manager.

Facebook has created a memorialized account status, where the person's account remains active, but no new friends can be added and friends can share memories on the memorialized timeline.

Memorializing a Facebook Account

Request a Facebook Memorialization

Twitter does not have a procedure for memorializing accounts, but it does have an inactive account policy.

Twitter Inactive Account Policy

LinkedIn does have a feature where a request can be made to remove a member's profile upon the death of the member.

Removing the Profile of a Deceased LinkedIn Member

Taking care of your digital afterlife can be nearly as important as writing a will and creating other estate planning documents. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Categories: Privacy, Social Media

Photo of John W. Mashni
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John brings a unique perspective to Foster Swift with his practical experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, and manager.  He focuses in the areas of business, tax, intellectual property and entertainment.

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