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Including Social Media in Your Estate Plan

When a person creates a will and the accompanying estate plan, including beneficiaries for special items and creating trusts for money to be bestowed on special charities is the norm. It is also a common practice when setting up estate administration for the person to select one trusted person to carry out these wishes. But there is one area that people often overlook that is becoming increasingly important. Our readers in Worcester might be interested in what this area is and how to prepare.

As social media becomes more popular, the need to properly manage it becomes even more important. However, many people fail to recognize the need for someone to manage this facet of their lives once they pass on. For people who have a large social media footprint, this is something that deserves serious consideration.

For example, a person who has a large social media following should decide if they want an announcement made upon their passing or if they just want their social media streams to go dark. If they want an announcement made, then a person needs to be entrusted with the log in information for all their social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. This person should also be informed whether the social media accounts should remain open as memorials or closed. Email, photo sharing sites and blogs should also be included in the social media administration plan.

This may seem trivial in regards to estate planning, but just like you need someone to handle your checking and investment accounts upon your passing, if you have a large social media network, this should be handled as well. Anyone who needs advice in setting up an estate can speak with a legal professional who is experienced in this area. He or she can help determine exactly what type of administration and estate plan that is needed to suit the needs of the estate.

Source: Lancaster Online, “Tips for writing social media wills” No author given, Nov. 18, 2013

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