There was a time when executors used to take up the usual roadmap to settle the estate of the deceased – clean the house, rifle through their files and file for a tax return by the end of the year. Now, that might seem quite simple, but it’s easier said done – managing the entire administration process after a person’s death can be challenging, both logistically and emotionally.
Nevertheless, in this day and age, majority of people are spending their lives partly online and ever since we’ve moved into a paperless society, everyone has started keeping crucial details in their head. This simply means that it could turn out to be a really bad pain in the head for families once we die – how would you sort out the digital possessions and accounts of the deceased when you don’t exactly know what they are?
Now, it’s quite easy to learn how to make a Will at home and mention that your niece will get the antique clock, but what about your Facebook and LinkedIn account? Who will manage those?
Well, since inventorying the digital life has become a usual practice when it comes to planning ones estate, we’ve put together a list of digital possessions and accounts, and how an executor can manage them after someone dies.
Gather all the cards of the deceased and get in touch with related helpline numbers instantly. Verify the identity of the deceased with their name and social security number, and provide with the necessary reason as to why you want to cancel the card.
Once all the cards are cancelled, you easily get to call off all the online subscriptions and payments that are linked to the credit/debit card – now, isn’t that like hitting many birds with one shot?
If you’ve been assigned as the legacy contact for someone’s Facebook account, then there’s a specific form that you’ve got to fill out with your name and mail id, alongside the name of the person who has died and their timeline’s URL.
Once you’ve filed the form out, you can either memorialise or delete the person’s account. In either cases, you can choose for a special request with the assistance of court order. However, at the end of it all, Facebook reserves the right to decide what’s supposed to be done with the account.
Well, on the other hand, if you aren’t assigned as the legacy contact, the quickest method to shut down an account is to send scanned copies of the deceased’s death certificate.
But bear in mind, it’s always better to select the legacy contact for your Facebook account, so that they can easily delete it as per your wish.
The process of shutting down ones Instagram account is more or less the same as Facebook – you need to fill out a form and provide a proof of their death along with it. Well, again you can certainly report it for memorialisation.
Remember that you won’t be given any of the deceased person’s login credentials. However, close family members can request to get the account deleted.
Whilst requesting to delete or memorialise the Instagram account of a deceased person, there are certain documents that you’ve got submit. They are:
- Birth certificate
- Proof of authority that you’re a legal representative of the deceased person
- Death certificate
Any representative or family member has the liberty to reach out to Google to request money from the deceased person’s account, to collect data or to shut down their account. For this as well you’re required to fill out a form, so that it becomes easier for the support staff to contact you and check the necessary details.
You’re not just required to provide them with your name, email and relationship with the deceased, but also their full name and email, death date, scanned copy of the death certificate, country and pin code.
It is advisable to assign legacy contact for your digital possessions as soon as possible. By doing just that, you can sign off from the world without making your family to face legal proceedings in order to get hold of your digital accounts.
If not done beforehand, it could be quite the challenge for you or your loved ones to retrieve all of the digital possessions and clear them out – better don’t let this happen!