Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Discusses Facebook Options Following a User’s Death

facebook, Naperville estate planning lawyerAs the popularity of social media outlets continues to grow, one site, in particular, remains at the forefront. Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, boasting more than 1.6 billion active monthly users. This staggering number means that more than 22 percent of the entire population of the world regularly scan their newsfeeds and “likes” their friends’ posts. Since the advent of social media, internet and sociology experts have found that many users create an alternate, exaggerated version of themselves, building a sort of ideal life that they share online. But what about real life? What happens after your death? Will your Facebook account continue to remain active, allowing other users to post and share things even after you are gone?

As an estate planning lawyer, I am being asked questions like these more often than ever before. While making plans for the future of your Facebook account may not have any financial impact on your family, you can help avoid painful and difficult complications by preparing in advance.

Memorialized Accounts

Facebook has created a process through which users can make plans for what will happen to their account when they die, and the social network provides two basic options. You can let Facebook know that you wish to have your account deleted in the event of your death or you can choose to have your account converted to a memorialized account. A memorialized account is a page that your friends and family can visit and, depending on your chosen settings, share memories with one another on your memorialized timeline. The word “Remembering” is added to your profile name, and your account is not presented in more public areas of Facebook, such as birthday reminders and friend suggestions. For your security and your family’s peace of mind, the account is also locked from all login attempts, including those made with your actual password.

Legacy Contact

You may also choose a person to manage your memorialized account following your death. This person is called a legacy contact. Although he or she is not permitted to log in to your account or to edit or remove any of your posts, he or she can share pinned posts from his or her own account, sharing important information with your friends and contacts. Your legacy contact can also respond to new friend requests and make other relatively minor changes. The process of choosing a legacy contact is straightforward, but deciding who it should be is a very personal decision, and one that should be made carefully.

Begin Planning Now

Preparing for the future is appropriate for individuals of any age. Once created, a comprehensive estate plan can be easily amended to account for life changes. For assistance in developing wills, trusts, or any other related instruments, contact a Naperville estate planning attorney. Call The Gierach Law Firm today to get started. Let us provide the help you need and the security you and your family deserve.




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