Have you considered what you would like to happen to your social media accounts when you die? Where the platform gives you options, have you selected one? A while ago we wrote about what happens to your social media account when you die.

Many platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn have different policies about what will happen to a deceased person’s profile. Since our last post, some of these policies have changed. Here is the current status as of the date of this post:

Your legacy contact can:

o     Write a pinned post on your profile.

o     Respond to new friend requests.

o     Update your profile picture and cover photo.

o     Download a copy of what you have shared on Facebook.

Your legacy contact cannot:

o   Log into your account.

o   Remove or change past posts, photos and things shared on your Timeline.

o   Read your messages.

o   Remove any of your friends.

If you do not appoint a legacy contact, or request in advance that your account be memorialised or deleted, family and friends can still request this after your death.

  • Instagram: also allows accounts of deceased users to be memorialised or removed, but it is important that photos and videos be backed up before this process is initiated because they cannot be downloaded from a memorialised account.
  • Twitter: does not allow any person to access a deceased person’s account. Immediate family members and executors of the deceased’s estate can request that the account be deactivated. If you are incapacitated for medical or other reasons, a person authorised to act on your behalf can also request that your account be deactivated. Find out more here.
  • LinkedIn: allows for a deceased person’s profile to be removed on request.

Look out for our next post on whether you should have a digital (or social media) will.