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Do you Need a Social Media Will?

 Posted on November 07, 2013 in Digital Estate Plan

Social media is still a fairly new phenomenon, but it has made its way into most everyone's lives. What happens, though, to all of those online profiles when the owner ceases to live and maintain the page?

That is answered with an even newer idea of a Social Media Will. Essentially, it is the same as a normal will, with a "trustee" who will be in charge of the belongings and other items listed in the will, in this case, all social media forums. This includes blogs, social media pages like Facebook and all email addresses.

Here are some steps from the Illinois state government on how to go about writing a social media will:

  • Before writing anything down, view all of the privacy policies and terms and conditions of every website for which you have an online existence in case there is a clause already about how accounts of the deceased are typically handled.
  • Check each website to see if there is a setting for account management after your death, in which case you would not need a trustee.
  • Once you do start writing, clearly explain how you would like your profiles to be handled after you pass. You may just want them all deleted, some of them deleted, a final memorial-type statement written on them or you may just want them to be untouched.
  • In the social media will, be sure to record all of the websites on which you have an online presence with your usernames and passwords so that your "trustee" can access your profiles.

It is also important for any estate planning to have an attorney to help you through each step as well, even for something as small as social media. If you are looking for someone to help you create a social media will or any other kind of will, contact Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC attorneys in Illinois today.

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