How to shut down a deceased's social media accounts
What you should know
Managing your loved one's digital footprint is becoming more and more relevant each year. Alfred helps people organize all online account information so that families know exactly what a person's wishes are with each account. If you have been tasked with handling this unique and new aspect of settling a loved one's affairs, we have a few tips to make it simple.
First off, it's important to note that leaving a deceased family member's account active may pose certain security threats. As terrible as it sounds, scammers often scan obituaries and match the names to social media accounts. They may then use the information that they have found to steal a deceased's identity. 2.5 million deceased Americans have their identity stolen each year to open credit cards, apply for loans, make purchases, etc. Scammers might also hack into social media and other accounts to gather credit card information.
Here is what you need to do for each site, respectively.
On Facebook, there are two options for a deceased person’s account.
1. You can memorialize the account.
When an account is memorialized, the word “Remembering” will be shown next to the person’s name on their profile. Depending on privacy settings, friends and family can use the page to gather and share memories about the deceased. No one can log in to a memorialized account, which means it’s secure. You can learn more about memorialized accounts here.
2. You can delete the account altogether
To remove your loved one’s account, you’ll need to provide documentation proving you’re an immediate family member or executor of the account holder. According to Facebook, the fastest way to do this is to provide a scan or photo of your loved one’s death certificate.
If you don’t have a death certificate, you’ll need to provide the following proof of authority:
Submit one of the following to provide proof of authority: Power of attorney, Birth certificate, Last will and testament, Estate letter
AND submit one of the following to provide proof that your loved one has passed away: Obituary, Memorial card
Check out the specific instructions from Facebook here
Instagram is owned by Facebook and allows the same options.
Similar to Facebook, a memorialized Instagram account is locked so that no one can log into it. The account looks the same as it did before it was memorialized, and nobody can make changes to any of the account’s existing posts or information. To memorialize an account, you’ll need to provide proof of death via a link to an obituary or an uploaded photo of a newspaper obituary. Learn more about memorializing an account on Instagram here.
To completely remove a deceased’s Instagram account, you’ll need to prove that you’re an immediate family member of the deceased by providing the deceased person’s birth certificate, the deceased person’s death certificate, or proof of authority under local law that you’re the legal representative of the deceased person, or his/her estate. You can checkout Instagram's instructions here.
Immediate family members, or authorized persons, can deactivate and remove a deceased person's account.
In order to remove a deceased user’s account, you must first submit a request. After submitting a request Twitter will email you with instructions. Be ready to provide information about the deceased, a copy of your personal ID, and a copy of the deceased's death certificate. Check out Twitter's instructions here.
LinkedIn's process functions similar to Twitter's. You'll first need to submit this form. You’ll need to provide information about your loved one, the URL to their profile, your relationship to them, your loved one’s email address, the date they passed away, a link to their obituary, and the company they most recently worked at. If you'd like to see their specific instructions, find them here.
Maybe less common for the older generation, but if you are managing the affairs of a millennial or Gen Z, expect that they used Snapchat. Snapchat will delete the account of a deceased loved one for you if you submit this form and provide a copy of the death certificate.
The best way to remove your deceased loved one’s Pinterest account is to email email@example.com and they will walk you through the process. You’ll need to provide your information, as well as the name, email address, and username of the deceased. You’ll also need to send Pinterest proof of death, such as a death certificate, obituary URL, or newspaper obituary scan, as well as proof of relationship, such as marriage certificate or proof that you’re named on the obituary.
You need to plan ahead. Now, we know that can be overwhelming. We've talked with hundreds of people who settled the affairs of their loved ones and we have built Alfred to best address the most pressing concerns. When a person builds an end of life plan in Alfred, all of the details needed to manage their digital presence after they die are neatly organized and shared with loved ones. You can get started today by building a plan for yourself or a loved one. Get a free 30-day trial today!