Aaron Rubin, of Morrison Foerster, reports on the policies of major social networks regarding digital data after death.  Social network policies summarized include the following:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+, YouTube and Blogger

Mr. Rubin’s article begins as follows:

It’s often said that, when it comes to regulating technology, U.S. laws aren’t up to speed. That includes U.S. trusts and estates laws, which, in many cases, do not say much about what happens to your digital assets after you die.

Unless you or your trustee lives in one of the few states that, like Delaware, has a law that allows your executor to access your online accounts, your loved ones may have to follow the procedures set forth in social media platforms’ terms of use if they want to access your account after your death. (Alternatively, a deceased social-media-account holder’s survivors could seek a court order granting them access to your social media accounts, but it’s a lengthy and not-always-successful process.)

The fluid nature of the major social media platforms’ approach to handling deceased users’ accounts is illustrated by Facebook, which recently changed its policy to afford users more post-mortem control over their pages. The recent press coverage of Facebook’s policy piqued our curiosity regarding how the major social media platforms address this issue. Below we summarize Facebook’s, Twitter’s, Instagram’s, Pinterest’s, LinkedIn’s and Google’s (including Google companies YouTube’s and Blogger’s) policies regarding management of deceased users’ accounts.

Read full article at Who Will Update My Status When I’m Dead?: The Biggest Social Media Platforms’ Policies on Deceased-User Accounts | Morrison & Foerster LLP – Social Media – JDSupra.


Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.