If you’ve found yourself in the role of an executor, executrix, personal representative, or administrator, you’re likely facing a myriad of responsibilities in administering an estate. Thanks to many law firms, financial institutions, and the Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors, you have access to plenty of organized lists—often free of charge—to help guide you.
However, one frequently overlooked area is managing the deceased’s online accounts and social media profiles. These assets, although more personal in value than financial, are crucial to address. In this guide, I’ve reviewed the most popular online sites and social networks in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and gathered instructions on to help you manage each platform’s specific processes.
Managing Facebook Accounts Posthumously
Facebook, the globally renowned social media network, has a dedicated page in their online help center to manage a deceased person’s account. They offer the option to memorialize an account, or to remove it if necessary. You can access Facebook’s guidelines here.
Google Accounts: Gmail, YouTube, Blogger and More
Google, home to popular services like Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube, allows users to pre-set administration preferences for their account upon their incapacitation or death. You can access their Inactive Account Manager here. If the deceased did not have this service set up, you can request the closure of the deceased’s accounts here.
Microsoft: Outlook, Hotmail, Onedrive
Microsoft requires a Court Order to modify an account posthumously, otherwise, they close accounts automatically after 2 years of inactivity. Learn more about their policies here.
LinkedIn Profiles After Death
LinkedIn allows the court-appointed executor to either memorialize or close the account on behalf of the deceased. Find out how to manage a LinkedIn account posthumously here.
Instagram: A Unique Approach
Twitter Policies for Deceased Users
Apple: Providing a Legacy Contact
Similar to Google, Apple allows users to designate a Legacy Contact who will manage their data after their death. Learn more about Apple’s policies here.
Pinterest: A Closer Look
Pinterest, one of the internet’s most popular image-sharing services, is a bit more reserved about their procedures. You can find their account closure policy here.
We hope this comprehensive guide will assist you in your duties as an executor, particularly when dealing with online platforms. Did we miss any platforms? Please let us know and we’ll include it in a future update.
At Summit Legal Group, one of Calgary’s top-rated law firms, we have the expertise to assist you with estate-related needs, from planning your own estate to applying for a grant of probate or grant of administration with the surrogate court. Get in touch to discover how we can support you.
Craig Gorham is a Certified Executor Advisor at Summit Legal Group, guiding clients through the Estate Administration process with compassion, empathy and a wealth of specialized knowledge. Craig can be reached directly at 587-393-2069 or email@example.com.