Handling online accounts after a loved one dies

People of all ages in Georgia and many other places now use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to communicate and stay on top of the news. When someone passes away, unless there is a person assigned to manage his or her accounts afterward, they will stay active. This can cause the deceased's friends and family to experience unnecessary pain and grief. In some instances, people may even see suggestions to add a deceased person as a friend.

These unpleasant situations can be avoided by getting a loved one's social media accounts deleted or memorialized. How this can be accomplished usually depends on the site's specific terms of agreement. A person should not just log onto his or her late loved one's accounts even if he or she has the login information for them because it could be illegal. Instead, individuals should go through the designated process outlined by each particular site in order to deal with accounts after their loved ones have passed away.

Although the process will vary from site to site, in many situations, an account will be deleted or memorialized by a platform after someone provides legal documents that show the account holder has passed on. In other cases, an individual will need to prove that he or she is the person's lawful representative in order to gain legal access to an account.

Digital accounts are increasingly becoming part of people's estate plans. These valuable documents enable people to select individuals to manage their online accounts when they pass on in the same way that wills and trusts can determine who should get a person's property when he or she dies. A probate and estate administration lawyer could explain to his or her clients what estate planning documents can and can't accomplish and draft ones that are appropriate based on their wishes.

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