What a Tangled Web We Leave

Here is a predicament that I did not have to face when my Mom died in 2006.  She never had Facebook or Twitter.

And even if Mom was alive today, I doubt very much she would have Facebook or Twitter as she was not comfortable with computers, or even cell phones! 

So what exactly happens to someones Facebook account, or Twitter, or any other on-line social media networking tool that is so prevalent in our society when they die?

Ponder these questions:

  • What happens to all of that personal data when you die?
  • Do you care what happens to it?
  • After you die, who "owns" that data or has the authority to choose what happens to your data upon your death?
  • If you have access to your loved ones passwords when they die, do you choose to shut down their sites?
  • Do you choose to keep the sites "alive" because you think you should hold onto all of your loved ones memories, photos, posts and exchanges?
  • Do you shut down all of the social media sites simply because death is the end so there is no reason to keep the sites operating?
  • How do you close a Facebook Account?
  • What happens if you don't even know the passwords?

A digital dilemma indeed.

The Web is changing the life of someone's memory after their death.

Believe it or not, there are companies that are coming up with a product to send out messages and tweets after you die!

Do you think that is a good thing? Or just plain creepy?

There are lawmakers currently tackling this notion of who has the authority to those networking sites.  Have you thought about who you would trust to do what you want with your social networks?

How do you prevent digital disasters after death?

  • You can include a provision in your will or your trust to outline your wishes with respect to your digital assets.
  • You can prepare a list of all your on-line accounts, passwords and answers to security questions in a safe place. 
  • You can ask your spouse, parents and children to do the same. 

Delays to making decisions about the disposition of digital assets can create a lot of problems that could be eliminated, or reduced, simply by planning and communicating.

Shutting down a Facebook account is not so easy

Think about what you would want done with your social media websites and be sure to tell someone your wishes! 

Here are some recent updates from Google and Facebook about the digital afterlife...