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Does my social media die with me?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2023 | ESTATE PLANNING - Estate Administration & Probate

As you scroll through your Facebook feed, you may not have thought about it, but what happens to that feed after you die? Does that social media feed die with you? Well, as it turns out, if your social media is not part of your estate plan, your social media may very well outlive you. However, each social media platform its own policy, and this Macon, Georgia, blog post will focus on Facebook. Future posts will include information on other social media platforms.

The Facebook default setting

Many Georgians assume that when they die, their online data and social media will die with them. It will slowly be deleted over time, or when social media companies receive notifications of death, they will delete the data. And, at some point, this may have been the default settings on some platforms.

However, for Facebook, the default setting is that, once it receives notification that you have died (either by a friend, family member or through some other business partnership), your Facebook profile becomes a memorialized account. In fact, unless you specifically elect to have your profile deleted, it will live on forever.

Of course, you can make this selection in your account settings. Or, you can add your account information and your instructions to delete your Facebook account into your estate plan. However, both require you to plan for your social media post-death now.

The Facebook memorialized account

The Facebook memorialized account looks the same as a normal profile except that it has the term, “Remembering” before the account holder’s name. The profile can still be tagged, people can still post pictures and a person can still control the account. Even the privacy settings remain the same, unless the person who controls the account changes those settings.

Control of the memorialized account

In your account settings, you can select who to take over your memorialized account after you die. However, a friend or family member can also request such a designation as well, if you have not made such a designation. Once your friend or family member takes over your account, they will, essentially, become the caretaker of your account.