Why you need to include provisions for the ownership and control of your digital assets in your estate planning documents!

Who will control your Facebook account when you're gone? 

When you die, your Facebook account will be taken over by Facebook (memorialized) and your loved ones will not be able to control it unless you have made a simple change to your account during your lifetime. The change is to add a legacy contact to your Facebook account. To make the change, go to your Facebook settings and then to manage account. Then click on the option to add a legacy contact.  

Adding a legacy contact to your Facebook account

The benefit of adding a legacy contact is, when you're gone, the legacy contact can make changes to your account, write a pinned post to share a final message, update your profile, respond to new friend requests and download what you shared on Facebook for the safekeeping of family memories. 

A legacy contact can also request the removal of your account if your family determines it should be taken down. However, you still retain certain privacy rights. Your legacy contact cannot log into your account, change your past posts, read your messages, or change your legacy contact.

What will happen to your other social media and online accounts?

We're a digital nation; therefore, don't overlook your other accounts. After you make the Facebook change to add a legacy contact, consider what will happen to your other social media accounts as well. In addition to Facebook, most of us have numerous online accounts such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

Our businesses also have accounts like Google My Business that may be linked to a personal account and website. The right to access and manage these accounts is valuable and may not automatically go to your estate or next of kin if something happens to you. Check the rules for each account and consider adding a provision in your durable power of attorney, will, or trust regarding digital accounts. Planning now will prevent problems later!

To talk to our estate planning attorney, Nancy Roberts, about planning for your digital assets, complete the contact form, email us, or call 704.887.5242 to schedule a consultation.

DISCLAIMER: This blog contains general educational information only. The information in this post does not constitute legal advice  to you and reading the information does not create an attorney-client relationship with Nancy Roberts or the Law Office of Nancy L Roberts, PLLC. You should not rely on this information as legal advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek legal advice from an attorney you hire, who advises you based on your specific facts, circumstances, situation, and the appropriate governing law.



Image: Shutterstock, Monkey Business



Nancy Roberts
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