The U.S. government is now recommending those in the online world create social media wills as part of estate planning.
Many sites require users to pass through several hoops to report that a user has passed away. Often, a death certificate is needed to be able to close an account.
Mark Holden, a social media specialist for a number of central Ohio companies, said that he has chosen one person to hold all of his personal passwords.
“You have to make sure that you’re picking someone that you trust--someone that is very patient,” Holden said.
Josh DiYanni, an attorney with the law firm of Hallowes & Ebbeskotte, said that users can save loved ones frustration by granting online authority to the executor of a will.
“Frankly, if it’s not addressed in a will, if it’s not ordered by a court, you’re not going to have a great deal of luck in getting that information from one of those social media websites,” DiYanni said. “Give the executor of your will the authority to access the content, download anything they want and shut the website down.”
DiYanni warned that because formal wills become public documents, separate documents should be drawn up that include password information.
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