Today's seniors are more digitally connected than ever, with some estimating that as many as 34% of Americans (65 and above) use social networking sites. From ordering food online to transferring money digitally, these apps have our personal and financial data stored online.
When my grandpa passed away in February, he did not leave a 'will' or any information to his or her important documents or online investments and accounts. All we had was a book with a personal touch to his grandkids. W e had to undergo vigorous procedures to retrieve grandpa's social media accounts and conditions and roadblocks in our pursuit to find vital information. A sa family, we faced a daunting task to get everything together ̵
If you are aware of the email and password associated with the deceased:
1) Go to "My Settings" and then select "Account Type" -> "Close Account" -> Continue.
If you do not have the required email and password,
1) If a 'will' exists, you will need to send a copy of the 'will' along with executor
2) If there is no 'will', you have a statement that states your relationship with the deceased, a government issued id card and death certificate.
Credit Cards: You can collect the card and call t he helpline number associated with the bank. The deceased's name, social security number and reason for canceling has to be provided. By canceling the credit card.
Facebook: You can either sign in or request deletion. Memorialization wants to keep the account active, but logging into the profile, add request facility and searchability is denied. It has the word "Remembering" next to the username. W it comes to a request for deletion; You can go to Settings-> security> legacy contact and then select account deletion.
Twitter: Death certificate along with your username and proof of relationship has been decommissioned. The process is different from Facebook.
Instagram: It has the same memorization and deletion process as Facebook.
Google: You can use the Inactive Account Manager to control the fate of your account. Y ou can also request to either close the account of the deceased or obtain data.
Linkedin: LinkedIn seeks close the account upon submitting the death certificate and previous previous details.
Pinterest: You can request
You can also close Ebay, Amazon, etc by contacting support and providing the necessary information.
What about Advance Planning?
Do you want to spend your time in a legal relationship? It was troublesome to retrieve all the documents and sort its digital legacy. Even to this day, we keep on eye on his mailbox and bank statements to see if there are any subscribed transactions that have to be canceled. To make similar confusion for your family, it's smart to include your digital legacy in your advance planning. Here are a few ways to handle this:
-You can assign or hire a digital executor to look after your digital possessions along with instructions and credentials – but keep them updated if / when passwords change.
– Use a password manager that will store your passwords on the digital accounts – and share that account info with your executor. Again, make sure to keep it updated!
-Explore online tools that can store all that information in one place and transfer it responsibly to the nominated nominees.
Surya Prakash Singh is the co-founder / co-CEO of yowill.life a company dedicated to protect and transfer the digital and personal legacy of loved ones responsibly, inspired by our family incidents.