What happens to your social media when you die (2023)

When someone dies, they leave behind physical goods and belongings, but they also leave behind a huge amount of digital content. After-death social media management is a fairly recent phenomenon, and our generations are rapidly developing the culture around it. So much so that virtual funerals are becoming part of our social media culture.

In a recent study, theOxford Internet Institutefound that by the end of this century, the number of deceased Facebook user accounts will reach nearly 5 billion. This will surpass the number of live user accounts! As soon as,What happens to social media after you die?🇧🇷 Who will have access to your accounts? Will you maintain your rights to your privacy and information?

These are all important questions that millennials should ask themselves when planning their wealth. (And no, you're not too young to be planning your estate!) Since we don't have a lot of precedent to look back on, this newfound territory can be difficult to navigate. We've put together this 6-step guide to help you better prepare your digital footprint. Here is an overview:

  1. Create your digital content inventory

  2. come up with a plan

  3. Research platform Policies related to death

  4. Decide your power of attorney

    (Video) What happens to your social media when you die?

  5. Consider using a password manager

  6. Upgrade your confidence or will

Create your digital content inventory

The first thing you should do is take inventory of your presence in the digital landscape. You'll be surprised to find out exactly how much of your life takes place on social media and other channels.

Here are some examples to consider:

  • social media accounts

  • sites e blogs

    (Video) What Happens To Your Online Life When You Die?

  • email accounts

  • digital calendars

  • app subscriptions

  • cloud storage

  • Content stored on your smartphone

As you take stock of all your accounts, look at what the login process is like, whether those accounts come with automated features, and whether or not they contain anything you wouldn't want anyone else to see. As for automated features, think about things like notifications that can keep sending you alerts or emails long after you've left. You want to have a clear understanding of where your digital identity goes so you can create detailed plans for yourdigital legacy.

(Video) What happens to social media after you die?

come up with a plan

Once you have a complete account of what your digital presence looks like, spend some time thinking about what you would like to happen to these accounts after you die. Do you want your accounts deleted? Do you want to leave them as they are? Do you want them to be used as a memorial space? If yes, what are they? Is there anyone in particular you would trust to manage your accounts? Write down these initial thoughts to start formulating a plan, which you can refine as you do more research.

Death-Related Research Platform Policies

Various platforms may or may not have policies related to death. However, you will find that most of the prominent social media platforms do. Find out details about whether the account can be deleted, remembered or will eventually be deleted due to inactivity. Also find out what the requirements are for a person of your choice to access and manage your account in the event of your death. Here are policy summaries for some of the most popular social media platforms:


Facebook offers the option to memorialize an account after the death of a user. A close friend or family member can request this by notifying Facebook. The platform will not disclose the user's login credentials, but will add a "souvenir" badge to the user's profile. The content remains visible, but the user's profile will no longer appear in public searches or friend suggestions.

You, as a user, can designate a legacy contact for your account. That person will be able to make changes to the account. Some examples include accepting friend requests, pinning tribute posts, and changing your profile picture. You may also choose to delete your account rather than memorialize it if you prefer.


Since Facebook owns Instagram, the platform's death policy is pretty much the same. Anyone can request that an Instagram account be commemorated with proof of death, such as an obituary link.

A memorial account will look no different than any other type of account, but the privacy settings cannot be changed - they are basically frozen. The account can also be deleted entirely, but in that case Instagram will require official proof of death such as a death certificate.

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Twitter will deactivate an account upon request. A family member or guardian must submit an application with proof of identification and proof of death. Twitter will consider public interest factors, such as newsworthiness, before accepting any request to remove specific images or tweets.


This new social media platform does not offer a comprehensive policy as compared to its counterparts. According to the site's "Contact Us" page, Snapchat states, "We are so sorry for your loss. We would love to help you in any way possible." , but Snapchat will delete the deceased's account when filing a claim. death certificate If you want someone to manage your account on your behalf, you will need to provide your login credentials.


YouTube's parent company is Google, which means that most accounts are associated with a Gmail account. Google users can use the "Inactive Account Manager" tool to designate what happens to their accounts after a period of inactivity they specify. The tool offers advanced options, such as closing accounts or sending specific data to your preferred contacts. Otherwise, immediate family or a power of attorney may request to deactivate an account. (Again, they must be able to identify themselves and provide a copy of the death certificate.)

Decide your power of attorney

When learning about the policies of various platforms, you may have noticed that typically only an immediate family member can make a request to delete or memorize their account. Even then, they must be able to provide proof that they are an immediate family member and a copy of the death certificate. If you have someone specific in mind to trust to manage your social media accounts (maybe you don't want Mom or Dad to see some private photos), then your best bet is to delegate a power of attorney. By doing so, that person will be able to provide the social media platform with proof that they have been authorized to carry out their personal wishes, even if they are not an immediate family member.

Consider using a password manager

A password management tool can be a great way to prepare for your eventual demise. By storing all of your login information and passwords in one central location, you can take a lot of the work out of having your power of attorney carry out your wishes. Some password managers even provide settings for your details to be given to selected people after your death. It can be scary for someone to try to hack your iPhone, for example, if they don't know your passcode. You can do your loved ones a favor by giving them quick, easy, and secure access to the information they need.

Upgrade your confidence or will

Finally, solidify your digital inheritance plans by establishing your inheritance plan. This is a legal document that specifies all your wishes that will be fulfilled in the event of your death. In your trust or will, you can provide a record of all your digital accounts and what you would like to do with each one. Also, this is the legal document used to name your power of attorney, so that the person of your choice can be legally authorized to carry out your wishes. it's very importantupgrade your confidence or willregularly as our digital footprint is continually being shaped and changed.

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When we think of the words "real estate", social media might be one of the last things that come to mind. The concept of social media and the idea of ​​passing on a digital heritage is a relatively new phenomenon, and we are still shaping our culture of how to effectively honor a loved one through the digital landscape. If the idea of ​​including your social media in your Trust or Will hasn't occurred to you, make sure you update your Estate Plan as soon as possible. That way, you can rest easy knowing that your digital presence will be maintained or hidden however you want.


What happens to social media when a person dies? ›

A memorialized account won't appear different from any other type of account, but the privacy setting cannot be changed — it basically is frozen. The account can also be deleted entirely, but in this case, Instagram will require official proof of death, such as a death certificate.

What happens to your Instagram when you die? ›

If you see an account on Instagram that belongs to someone who's passed away, you can request that we memorialize the account. If you're an immediate family member of the person, you can request that the account be removed from Instagram.

What happens to my Facebook account if I die? ›

You can choose to either appoint a legacy contact to look after your memorialized main profile or have your account permanently deleted from Facebook. If you don't choose to have your account permanently deleted, only your main profile will be memorialized if we become aware of your passing.

What happens to my online accounts when I die? ›

For most email accounts, like Yahoo, you can authorise someone to contact the provider and ask for your account to be closed. Usually, they'll need to give ID and a copy of the death certificate. Once the email provider gets this information, they'll delete your account. No data will be transferred to anyone else.

Can Facebook delete an account of a deceased person? ›

To help us remove your loved one's account from Facebook, we'll need you to provide documentation to confirm you're an immediate family member or executor of the account holder. The fastest way for us to process your request is for you to provide a scan or photo of your loved one's death certificate.

What happens to Snapchat when someone dies? ›

We can delete the account for you if you provide us with a copy of the death certificate.


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