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Handling Your Loved One’s Digital Estate

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Settling someone’s estate can be a long and emotional process, even if they leave a will. There are people and places to notify, accounts to close, possessions to sort through, etc. In the past, that was enough to deal with on its own. Today, however, you need to consider digital property as well.

Most people have not made a digital will or included instructions for their digital assets. And most of the time their predecessors do nothing with them because they’re not sure what to do or how to do it. If you’re stuck in that sort of situation, check out these suggestions for the most common digital accounts.

Amazon

Currently, Amazon does not have any process specifically related to closing an account in the even the user dies. You’ll need to look at their account closure policies and contact them to figure out what to do.

Apple

Apple makes it much easier. Simply contact Apple support and provide your loved one’s Apple ID, email address and a copy of the death certificate. They’ll do the rest.

Facebook

To close or memorialize someone’s Facebook account, you’ll need to fill out their special request form. Facebook may also ask you for copies of their birth and death certificates as well as proof that you’re allowed to represent them in legal matters.

Memorialized Facebook accounts shared content remains visible according to their privacy settings and friends can continue to share memories. To be proactive, you can appoint a legacy contact to manage your account in the event you become unable to do so.

Google

Google also has an easy to use form. You will need to provide some legal documents like a death certificate and proof that you’re legally allowed to submit this request on their behalf. If you’re feeling proactive, fill out the Inactive account manager info to save some steps for your loved ones.

Instagram

Facebook owns Instagram, so it’s no surprise that both removing and memorializing the account are available. Memorialized accounts are visible based on the privacy settings, but no one can log in and posts are not in public spaces such as “explore.”

LinkedIn

To delete a deceased person’s LinkedIn account, fill out their online form and include the LinkedIn profile URL, date of death, a link to their obituary, their most recent employment, email address(es), and any other information you think might be helpful.

Snapchat

Currently, there is no way to close snapchat account.

Twitter

To close your loved one’s Twitter account, start here. Twitter will email you further instructions. Be aware that you’ll be asked to provide information about them, a copy of your ID and a copy of their death certificate. Twitter states they will only work with verified immediate family members, not those authorized on their behalf and will not grant anyone access to accounts.

Yahoo

Yahoo still uses snail mail for this process. To close someone’s Yahoo account, mail a copy of their user ID, a document appointing you their legal representative, and their death certificate to:

Concierge Executive Escalations
Yahoo Inc.
5250 NE Elam Young Parkway
Hillsboro, OR 07124

Be aware that Yahoo also owns Flickr and Tumblr. It’s not clear if you’ll need to submit separate requests for those accounts. But you can contact Flickr and Tumblr through their easy online/email support and double check.

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