Social Media After Death

Here is an interesting blog entry by Michael Loatman at Bloomberg BNA.

Who should be legally allowed to obtain access to your e-mail and facebook accounts after you die? That is a question that is finally beginning to find its way into the discussions of policy makers around the country. It is impossible to know whether or not any laws will be in place when the situation presents itself to us. In the meantime, forward thinking individuals might be wondering what steps can be taken now. Here are some thoughts:

1. Think about it. If you follow this step, you’ve probably already done more than most people.

2. Make a list. There are probably more than you realize. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, iTunes, e-mail, etc. etc.

3. Decide who you want to have access to these accounts. Someone with some general technological know-how would be an optimum choice. It’s probably a good idea to name this person as your executor/personal representative/successor trustee in your estate planning documents.

4. Give them access. Your list should have all of the passwords, which means it should be kept in a very secure place. Just make sure the person you chose in step 3 knows about it and will be able to get to it.

5. Give them instructions. Your estate planning documents are important, but your chosen fiduciary may not get all the guidance he or she needs about your digital assets in legal documents. Do you want your blog to continue? Or do you want it to be a memorial?

M. Todd Smith, Esq.


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