Planning Your Digital Legacy

In today’s world of social media, it’s important to plan not only for your physical property, but also your digital accounts. Having a well-crafted estate plan is an enormous benefit to your family and loved ones. By including instructions for your online profiles, or utilizing the memorial tools from social media, you can make things simpler for loved ones after you pass away. Here’s a look at how some popular social media platforms handle accounts of deceased or inactive members.


You may be surprised to learn that Facebook has applied a lot of consideration regarding what can happen to your account once you pass away. In fact, there are a number of ways to utilize your Facebook to preserve your final thoughts and memories. Facebook allows you to designate a “legacy contact.” This person will be allowed to pin a post on your Timeline after your death, such as a funeral announcement or obituary. The contact won’t be able to log in as you or read your private messages but will be allowed to respond to new friend requests, update your cover and profile photos, archive your Facebook posts and photos.

If you’re interested in designating a legacy contact, while logged into your Facebook account, you can simply go to Security and click on “Legacy Contact.” Here, you’ll be able to select one of your Facebook friends. You’ll also be given the option to send them a pre-written message (which you can edit) that provides information about the policy. Otherwise, the contact will be notified only when your death has been reported to Facebook, and your account is memorialized.

Gmail/Google Accounts

Google allows you to plan for the management of your Google accounts after your passing. Through the Inactive Account Manager, you can authorize a trusted person to download content from your Google accounts like Gmail, Youtube, and Google Hangouts. When Google detects that your account has become inactive, they contact your trusted contact via email.


Instagram offers two options for a deceased user’s profile. The account can either be memorialized or deleted. In order to have the profile memorialized, contact Instagram with proof of death such as a link to an obituary. Immediate family members can also request the profile be deleted. In order to do so, you will have to provide proof that you are a family member, an authorized representative of the estate, and proof of death.


In order to have a loved one’s Pinterest account removed, email with your name, the name and email of the deceased loved one, a link to their Pinterest account, proof of death (such as death certificate),  and proof of your relationship (such as a birth or marriage certificate).


LinkedIn also allows you to request the profile of a loved one or colleague be deleted after they have died. In order to make the request, you will need their name, link to their profile, their email address, your relationship with them, their date of death, a link to an obituary, and their most recent company.

While these steps help manage a portion of your online presence after you pass away, it’s crucial to have a plan for your family and loved ones. Regardless of the size of your estate, you should have a comprehensive plan. The experienced attorneys at Martinson & Beason can help at any step along the way. Contact us today.