May 21, 2015

Ownership of digital assets: what happens to your Facebook account when you die?

Increasingly, a large portion of our assets are owned digitally rather than offline. What happens to your Facebook account after you pass away? Well, the answer depends on the actions you’ve taken to allow a loved one access to your account – whether to review its contents, close it, or create a memorial page for you. In addition to including digital assets in your estate planning documents, you should take steps with the individual digital asset companies to make sure your family/friends who you designate can continue to administer these assets after death. For Facebook’s Legacy Contact feature, see: These are the steps for one to take in designating a Legacy Contract:

To add a legacy contact:

Click in the top right of Facebook and select Settings
In the left menu, click Security
Click Legacy Contact
Type in a friend’s name and click Add
Click Message to let your friend know they’re now your legacy contact

If your account is memorialized, your legacy contact will be notified. Learn more about what a legacy contact can do.

To change or remove a legacy contact, follow steps 1 – 3 above, then click Remove. From there, you can add a new legacy contact if you’d like.

If you would like to consult with experienced estate counsel on the nuances of digital life, feel free to contact Goodwin Weber PLLC for a consultation.