Social Media Will – Protecting your Social Media Legacy

In this social media age you should leave clear instructions about what should happen to your social media accounts after your death. If you think about the number of photographs alone that are stored on line this will give you some idea of the importance of ensuring, if you so wish, that a partner, family member or friend will have access to them on your death.

For a great many people your family history, photos and on-line accounts form part of your legacy which you might wish to share and allow others to have access on your death. In addition it is increasingly likely that in future years people may wish to say farewell to their friends and family through different mediums and on line accounts.

In addition it is vital to find a suitable and secure way for you to pass down your important passwords as these must be used to access your computer, mobile phone, internet sites, Bank and PayPal accounts among the very many accounts you might have used during your lifetime.

Sites like Facebook have people designated as “legacy contacts” who can manage your account after you die. Your Digital Executor executor can then decide whether to leave your account active, delete it, or memorialise it. However most Terms of Service for social media accounts set up licences and rights between you and the companies and thus it is very possible that a video that you make and post online does not necessarily go to your loved ones after your death.

Firstly you should consider, as part of your “normal” will or preferably as a separate codicil, appointing a Digital Executor to act on your behalf in relation to your digital assets and presence on the internet, while referring to your Social Media Will [ SMW ] which will provide how your digital accounts and assets are to be handled. You will give to your Digital Executor power to access all your digital accounts information and devices listed in your SMW and which will include all your online accounts, files and electronic devices specified. However your will should specify that your SMW does not form a material part of your last will and testament and should be construed as a letter of instruction only to the Digital Executor of your will.

As you will appreciate the widespread use and popularity of all on line accounts will only increase with the passage of time and with most storage of data now being cloud based the greater the likelihood that without a properly drafted SMW these accounts may be lost forever if your family and/or close friends or partner cannot gain access to them.

For further advice on this and any other issues you may have please contact 045-432382 and info@bnsolicitors.ie.

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