Beyond the Grave: The Fate of Your Social Media Accounts

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What Happens to Your Social Media When You Die | Walker Pender Group

What happens to your social media when you die?

We’ve extended our lives into the virtual sphere in today’s digitally driven world. But have you ever wondered what happens to your social media profiles when you pass away? This guide explores how different social media platforms handle the digital afterlife.

What Happens to Your Social Media When You Die?


When you die, Facebook offers two options for your account: memorialisation or permanent deletion. Your account becomes memorialised if a friend or family member reports your death to Facebook.

A “Remembering” label will be displayed next to your name, and depending on your privacy settings before death, friends can share memories on your timeline.

You can appoint a legacy contact to look after your memorialised account before you die. If you prefer to have your digital presence wiped clean, you can request in advance that Facebook permanently deletes your account when you die.


Like its parent company, Facebook, Instagram also provides the option to memorialise an account upon death.

Once memorialised, your account doesn’t appear differently and will not appear in public spaces like Instagram’s Explore section. Instagram does not grant anyone the right to log into your account, including your next of kin.


TikTok has no specific policy regarding what happens to users’ accounts when they die. The platform’s community guidelines do not cover this situation, and there is no feature to memorialise an account like on Facebook or Instagram.

However, TikTok allows for the deletion of an account if a verified immediate family member or legal representative requests it, providing appropriate documentation such as a death certificate.

This is common across social media platforms, although the exact process can vary.


Twitter does not memorialise the accounts of deceased users. Instead, a person authorised to act on behalf of your estate or a verified immediate family member can request to deactivate your account after your death.


On LinkedIn, a deceased user’s profile can become a potential source of distress or misuse. For this reason, LinkedIn takes a protective stance upon being notified of a user’s death.

It closes the account, safeguarding the user’s privacy and personal data from potential unauthorised access or inappropriate activities.

Google and YouTube

Google has a tool called Inactive Account Manager that lets you decide what happens to your account after you stop using Google services.

You can delete your data after a set inactivity or pass it on to a trusted contact.

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What Does Digital Asset Mean?

What happens to your social media when you die, and what does digital asset mean?

Digital assets are any information or data that exist in a digital format and are accompanied by the right to use them.

They can be created, stored, and distributed electronically, covering many items. Some common examples of digital assets include:

  • Digital files and documents: This can include photos, videos, music, ebooks, software, and other digital files stored digitally.
  • Social media accounts: This includes the posts, photos, videos, and other content you’ve uploaded to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Email accounts: Your email account and all its messages and files are considered digital assets.
  • Websites and blogs: If you own a website or a blog, all the content on that site, as well as the domain name and the website itself, are your digital assets.
  • Digital currencies: This includes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.
  • Online accounts: This includes online banking, PayPal and other financial accounts, shopping accounts, subscriptions, loyalty programs, and any other accounts you have with online services.

Each digital asset you own typically comes with a set of rights and restrictions concerning its use, distribution, modification, and sale, and these are often outlined in terms of the service agreement of the platform where the asset exists. You must consider your digital and physical assets when planning your estate.

What Is A Digital Legacy Policy?

What happens to your social media when you die, and what is a digital legacy policy?

A digital legacy policy refers to the rules, procedures, and plans in place for managing and distributing a person’s digital assets after their death.

These digital assets can include social media profiles, blogs, emails, digital photos and videos, online banking accounts, and other online presences or digital files owned by the individual.

The policy should outline what should happen to these assets, who should have access to them, and how they should be managed or distributed.

This can be particularly important given privacy laws and the terms of service of many online accounts, which can make it difficult for surviving family members or executors to access them without explicit permission.

A digital legacy policy might be included as part of a broader estate plan and communicated in a formal document, like a will, or through an online service designed for this purpose.

Some digital platforms, like Google and Facebook, have built-in tools to help users specify their wishes for their accounts after death.

To manage a digital legacy, individuals are often encouraged to maintain a secure and up-to-date record of their online accounts and passwords to simplify the process for their executors.

As always, the specifics of a digital legacy policy can vary widely depending on an individual’s preferences, the nature of their digital assets, and the laws in their particular jurisdiction.

Will My Existing Social Media Posts Continue to Monetize Even After My Death?

Continued monetisation of your existing social media posts after your death depends mainly on the specific platform and the nature of the content. Here’s what happens to your social media when you die:

YouTube: If a YouTube channel is monetised and continues to generate views, existing content could continue to generate ad revenue.

However, access to the associated Google AdSense account is required to collect the revenue. Google’s policies do not allow for the transfer of ownership of an AdSense account, so the deceased’s legal representative would need to close the existing account and apply for a new one.

Instagram/Facebook: These platforms don’t directly pay users for content, but influencers often monetise their accounts through brand partnerships and sponsored posts.

After the account owner’s death, no new content can be added if the account is memorialised. The existing content will remain, but without new posts, the potential for continued monetisation through partnerships would be limited.

Twitch: For Twitch streamers, the existing content could continue to earn revenue through subscriptions and ads, but someone would likely need to manage the account.

Blogs or websites: If a blog or website is monetised through ads or affiliate marketing, the existing content can continue to generate revenue as long as the site remains active and attracts traffic.

How Can I Protect My Digital Assets and Legacy?

Protecting your digital assets and legacy involves several steps, including ensuring they are properly managed or disposed of after death. Here are some steps you can consider:

Inventory Your Digital Assets: Make a comprehensive list of your digital assets. This should include email accounts, social media profiles, blogs, digital photos, online banking and payment services, domains, and more.

Document the access details for each of these, but keep security in mind – this information should be stored securely.

Appoint a Digital Executor: This person manages your digital assets after you’re gone. Their role might include closing accounts, transferring assets, or archiving important data.

Check local laws regarding digital executors, as they might only be recognised in some places.

Detail Your Wishes in Your Will: While your will shouldn’t contain passwords (since it becomes a public document), it can include instructions for your digital executor about handling your digital assets.

You can leave specific instructions for each account, whether deletion, memorialisation or transfer to someone else.

Use Online Tools: Some platforms offer built-in tools for managing your account after death. For instance, Google’s Inactive Account Manager lets you decide what happens to your account if you don’t log in for a certain period of time. Facebook allows you to appoint a legacy contact to manage parts of your memorialised account.

Store Information Securely: Any document containing sensitive information like account details and passwords should be stored securely.

Consider using a digital password manager with a feature for emergency access or a digital legacy feature.

Seek Legal Advice: Given the complex and evolving nature of laws around digital assets, it can be helpful to consult with a legal professional familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction.

Safeguarding Digital Assets: Empowering an Influencer’s Vision

A pharmacist and successful influencer approached the Walker Pender Group with a clear vision.

She wanted her valuable digital assets, including her monetised social media accounts and affiliated partnerships, to benefit her children after her passing.

Moreover, she wished for her online presence to be respectfully discontinued upon her death, ensuring no unauthorised use of her accounts.

With its expertise in digital estate planning, Walker Pender Group was perfectly poised to assist. The team thoroughly audited her digital assets and assessed their value and impact.

They then carefully crafted a comprehensive plan that outlined how each asset would be managed, ensuring her children would benefit from any revenues generated.

For her social media profiles, the team provided instructions on memorialising or shutting down each account according to each platform’s policy.

To protect her interests even after her death, a digital will was created to state her wishes and make them legally binding.

The result was a robust digital estate plan, assuring her that her assets would be handled as she wished, respecting her legacy and benefiting her children.

This scenario demonstrated Walker Pender Group’s ability to seamlessly navigate the complex world of digital assets and legacy planning.

Unsure About What Happens to Your Social Media When You Die?

You don’t need to worry anymore. The experts at Walker Pender Group are here to help you ensure your digital assets are secure.

We understand the importance of safeguarding your social media legacy and can guide you every step of the way.

Let us help you make informed decisions about what happens to your social media when you die. Connect with Walker Pender Group today for a comprehensive digital estate planning service. Preserve your online presence with us.

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