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What happens to my social media when I die?

Business expert Katherine Rowell from D&K Wills talks us through what happens to our social media accounts once we cannot control them any more.

As the world changes and the way that we communicate with each other evolves, it is inevitable that we will need to make some changes to the way we write wills.

A key area that needs updating is how our social media accounts are dealt with, some of the online platforms allow you to make these choices whilst you are alive:

1. Facebook, the biggest and most popular social media platform, this has an option in your settings called memorialisation settings. In here you can appoint a Facebook friend who can look after your account after you pass. You can also give them permission to download photos from your profile, especially important for those who have family photos stored here . Another option is to request for your profile to be closed on death. If you make no choices, Facebook will work with your executors.

2. Instagram, owned by Facebook, has broadly similar policies. The main difference is that you cannot put in place any wishes on the Instagram platform whilst you are alive, your executors are responsible for making the decisions. It may be advisable to put a line in your will with your wishes or to write an expression of wishes.

3. Twitter will close your account on request of the executors.

4. YouTube -you can appoint an inactive account manager via your settings who can then manage the account. Alternatively, your executors can contact youTube to have the account closed.

We recommend that you put a clause in your will that executors can deal with your online assets including social media. These may require different executors to your normal ones and this is easy to include.

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