A few years back, I got news about the death of my previous superior and a very good friend. The very first thing I did was to visit his Social Media profile to confirm his death. I could see lot of many RIP messages on his profile. I was sad and down. Even today, if I visit his page it is as if it is with those last messages, then a thought came to my mind that what happens to the online accounts of a person who is dead?
If we think around, it’s really difficult to trace accounts if a person keeps his credentials completely confidential. If the family of the deceased is unaware then the account remains active even after the death of a person. Even the Social Media sites are getting aware now about these issues and started creating alternatives to tackle this.
Some major websites and social networks that collect user information have implemented policies for those that need to take care of a deceased user’s account. Here are some explanations on how you can gain control of a deceased loved one’s account or have it shut down completely.
Informing Facebook about the deceased person
Facebook has come up with two options. Here you can convert the deceased account to a memorial page. Along with other security measures, Facebook will keep the account information as it is but convert it to the memorial page. In this way, it will be prevented to be presented as an active account.
All you have to do is fill a Memorialization Request. Here you are needed to submit the death certificates to the site, which they will verify and then accept your request.
In other option you can get the account closed by filling the details in the link given Special Request for Deceased Person’s Account. This request can be filled only by immediate family members.
Access a Deceased Person’s Google or Gmail Account
Google is highly reluctant to give any account information to anyone after death. Family members can send the details of death with certificate to Google, they will verify it thoroughly and decide on what to do. Google will then get in touch with you by email to let you know if the decision has been made in order to move on to the next step in the process. They have started a campaign to ask people up to what time their account can be inactive and what’s to be done after that. Inactive Account Manager is just the digital afterlife of a person or say a Will.
Closing the Yahoo Account of a Deceased Person
It may happen that in special conditions Google may consider your request to give account credentials but Yahoo will never give this deatils. You can contact them for deactivation of an account. Link. You have to provide them with username, your authorization that you have rights to act in lieu of deceased, and death certificate. You can contact them through email, fax or mail.
Contacting Paypal About a Deceased Person
It has a particular legal structure to be followed. The person contacting should have legal authorization. After approval, payments left will be cleared in the account holder’s bank account. Link. You have to contact them through fax. It should have a cover letter, legal authorization of the person who is placing the request, photo identification copy of estate executor.
Deactivating a Deceased User’s Twitter Account
Twitter will never give you any detail of the account, even if you are an immediate relative. All you can do is send the details for deactivation of the account with details of proof of death. It needs username of the Twitter account to be disabled, death certificate certified copy, government issued Id proof, attested other proofs. Link for this. Contact through either fax or mail.
Deactivating a Deceased User’s Pintrest Account
It will never hand you over deceased account details. You have to send deceased death detail to deactivate account. You have to send death certificate, obituary or link of the newspaper where obituary is published. Same policy as Google. Link for contact and other details to be attached along with request for deactivation.
Informing Instagram About the Deceased Person
Your present state and your virtual presence are very much necessary. Just like you have a will for your after death assets the same way you should plan for your digital assets (online accounts) after life.