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Is Social Media Included in Your Will?

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154 Blue Chrome Rain Social Media Icons by webtreats on Flickr

Photo by webtreats on Flickr

May is “National Make-A-Will Month,” so we’ll have lots to talk about regarding how you should manage your affairs to ensure everything is in order before your demise.

In particular, you should pay special attention that you have considered the Big Four estate planning documents:

1. Last Will
2. Living Will
3. Living Trust
4. Power of Attorney

We’ll discuss these more in detail as the month goes on, but a recent article at the Huffington Post begs another question: What to Do with My Social Media Accounts in the Event of Untimely Death?

As Samara O’Shea wrote:

I live an active online life. There are plenty of people I’m friends with only through social networking. They need to know that I’ve died, too. I’d hate to have them think I defriended them. Not to mention, I don’t want my accounts wasting cyberspace — gathering e-mails and Farmville invites to no end.

And so, O’Shea sat down to write instructions to her sister, providing usernames and passwords for various online accounts along with instructions as to how they should be handled in the event of her death. She covered Twitter, Facebook, her blog, and her email account in the instructions.

Although O’Shea’s article is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, it does raise what could be an important question for many of us who spend a good deal of time online. What will happen to our social media spaces when we die? Do you want your online presence to continue even after death or do you want all (or most) traces of you to vanish?

OK, so this isn’t nearly as important as what happens to your children, pets, house, and prized possessions should you meet an untimely demise, but it’s still an interesting question, and one you may want to consider as you prepare the documents that specify your final wishes.

Have you thought about this? Have you made plans for your social media accounts upon your death?

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May 4th, 2010 at 10:59 am