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, and possessions to sort through. 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 situation, check out these suggestions for the most common digital accounts.
To request access to a deceased family member’s Amazon account, you will need to contact Amazon customer service and provide them with certain information.
First, you must provide documentation showing you are the legal representative of the deceased person’s estate, such as a death certificate and a copy of the will or court order. You must also provide proof of your identity, such as a government-issued ID. Once Amazon has verified your documentation, they will give you access to the account or help you close it, depending on your preference.
Contact Apple Support and provide your loved one’s Apple ID, email address, and a copy of the death certificate. To request access to a deceased family member’s Apple account, you need to contact Apple Support and provide the necessary documentation to prove that you are an authorized representative of the deceased person’s estate or next of kin.
This may include a death certificate, a will, a court order, or other legal documentation. Once Apple verifies your identity and eligibility, they may grant you access to the account and its contents, subject to their terms and conditions.
It’s important to note that Apple’s policies regarding access to a deceased person’s account may vary by country and region. Therefore, you should consult an attorney or other legal professional for guidance on the appropriate steps.
Facebook provides several options for accessing or memorializing an account after someone has passed away.
Memorialize or Delete
One option is to request that Facebook memorialize the account, freeing it in its current state and allowing friends and family to post memories and condolences. To do this, you’ll need to submit a request to Facebook and provide proof of the person’s death, such as a death certificate or obituary.
Suppose you want to request access to manage or delete the account. In that case, you’ll need to provide additional documentation to prove you are an authorized representative of the deceased person’s estate. This might include a court order or a letter of testamentary.
It’s important to note that Facebook’s policies and procedures for managing deceased accounts can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to consult Facebook’s Help Center or contact their support team for the latest information and guidance on how to proceed.
To gain access to a deceased family member’s Google account, you will need to follow similar steps as above.
Firstly, you must provide Google with a copy of the deceased person’s death certificate. Secondly, you must prove that you are an authorized representative or an immediate family member of the deceased person. You can do this by using this form and submitting legal documentation such as a court order, a will, or a letter of authority.
Once you have submitted the required documents to Google, they will verify your request and grant you access to the deceased person’s account if your request is approved.
It’s important to note that Google has a specific policy regarding access to a deceased person’s account. You may need legal advice to ensure you follow the correct procedures. Google’s form will help with a YouTube account as well.
If you’re feeling proactive, fill out the Inactive account manager info to save some steps for your loved ones.
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.”
Accessing a family member’s LinkedIn account requires a formal request to LinkedIn’s customer support team.
Make the request
You’ll need to provide LinkedIn with a few key pieces of information, such as the name of the deceased person, their LinkedIn profile URL, date of death, a link to their obituary, their most recent employment, email address and proof of your relationship to the deceased (e.g., death certificate) fill out their online form here.
LinkedIn’s customer support team will review your request and, if approved, provide you with instructions on how to access the account. Keep in mind that LinkedIn has strict policies to protect its users’ privacy and security, so be prepared to provide detailed documentation to support your request.
“Dear Snapchat: Your website provides no information about what will happen to a user’s account after death and gives survivors no information about how to delete the account of a deceased loved one. This article reflects those omissions. If you make your policies about these issues known, we will be happy to update this article.” Nolo.com
When requesting access to a loved one’s TikTok account, you can contact TikTok’s support team for assistance. You must provide proof of your relationship to the deceased person and evidence of their passing, such as a death certificate.
TikTok may also require additional documentation or information before granting access. It’s important to note that TikTok has its own policies and procedures for handling such requests, so be prepared to follow their guidelines and provide any necessary information to ensure a smooth process.
To close your loved one’s Twitter account, you can do so by filling out a form on the Twitter website.
Have this information ready
You’ll need to provide information about the deceased person, including their Twitter handle, a copy of their death certificate, and proof of your relationship to them. Twitter will review your request and may grant you access to the account, depending on their policies and procedures. Remember that gaining access to someone else’s Twitter account without permission violates Twitter’s terms of service and could result in legal consequences.
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
22000 AOL Way
Dulles, VA 20166
Be aware that Yahoo also owns Flickr and Tumblr. So it’s unclear if you’ll need to submit separate requests for those accounts. But you can contact Flickr (link updated to memorialize request form) and Tumblr through their easy online/email support and double-check.
Requesting access to a deceased family member’s social media account can be a sensitive and complex process. Tech companies are attempting to simplify the process while still providing privacy protections for customers, although it may not seem that way.
Our Biweekly newsletter covers a number of great topics – Sign up here!