What To Do with a Lost Loved One’s Social Media Accounts

by Sytsema

Many people are unsure what to do with the social media pages of loved ones after they’ve passed away. While cancelling these accounts is certainly an option, you don’t necessarily have to – you can leave the accounts open and transform them into memorial pages. This is a way to keep and cherish special memories and allow friends and family to go back, look at pictures, reminisce, reflect and remember.

If you do decide to cancel your loved one’s social media accounts, here is a guideline that will hopefully help.

When you feel ready, try to track down the username and password for each account. If this is not possible, there are still steps you can take.68593803_m

 

Closing a Facebook account

Facebook will not close an account unless they are notified and the following items are provided via mail or fax:

  • A birth certificate

  • A death certificate or link to an obituary or news article about the death

  • Proof of authority to act upon their behalf



Closing a Twitter account

Twitter will actually end an account after six months of no activity, so you may choose to let the account close on its own, or be prepared to share the following items via mail or fax:

  • The username if possible

  • A death certificate

  • A copy of your personal ID or passport

  • A signed statement with your details and reason for deactivating the account

  • A link to an obituary

Closing an Instagram account

Similar to Facebook, Instagram accounts can be  closed or stay open and active as a memorial page instead, so you can access and update photos.

You will need the following:

  • Birth and death certificate for the deceased

  • Proof of authority to act on their behalf

Closing a LinkedIn profile

A platform known more for professional use, LinkedIn can be easy to forget about having to check, but to be thorough, it’s important to look up your loved one on this network as well, especially if a business is involved. You will need the following to close a LinkedIn profile:

  • Member name

  • URL of profile

  • Your relationship to the individual

  • Their email address

  • The date they passed away

  • The link to their obituary

  • The name of the company for which they last worked

Keep in mind if your loved one had a premium account, it will need to be brought down to basic before it can be closed. If you do have the username and password, you can simply log into the account and delete the account from the settings tab.

 

These are the most common types, but by no means all, of the social media platforms people use. Your loved one may have used others, including YouTube or Pinterest. Be sure to check all platforms you are aware of and if you decide to close the accounts but cannot find directions, call us and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

Of course, one way to ease this process is to discuss it with your loved one as part of their end-of-life plans if you are able. That way you can gather all account information needed so when the time comes to take on this responsibility, you are prepared. If you need help planning ahead, we are happy to assist you with that as well. Just contact us whenever you’re ready. We are here for you!

preplanning guide