Recent statistics show that almost 82% of Australians use social media. But what happens to these accounts when the social media user passes away? The accounts don’t just disappear. Therefore, an executor must understand how to close down social media accounts following a death. 

Digital legacy 

You must make decisions about their online accounts if you have the authority to act as an executor or family member on behalf of a deceased individual. Often there are forms to fill out and documents to file to memorialise or deactivate social media accounts. In this article, we have linked some social media account pages to deactivate or memorialise an account.


How to close down social media accounts after a death as Executor

Each social media platform has a unique digital legacy policy. If the deceased individual has not nominated a Legacy contact, the executor or family member can close the account by submitting a form along with a death certificate. 

Facebook – you can nominate a legacy contact who can deal with your account in the event of your death. Or, one can submit a request to Facebook to have your profile memorialised or permanently deleted. 

Instagram – Instagram accounts can be deleted or memorialised by one of your immediate family members or executor after you pass away. 

Youtube – At the time of publishing, Google owns YouTube, so an immediate family member or executor can submit a request to Google to delete a YouTube account/channel.  

LinkedIn – Similar to Facebook, you can authorise someone to act on your behalf to request the account to be memorialised or closed.

Twitter – Twitter will work with your executor or verified next of kin to deactivate or remove your Twitter account


Memorializing, deactivating or closing a deceased member’s social media

To close most social media accounts for a deceased person, you will require a death certificate and proof that you have the authority to take action on behalf of the deceased person (e.g.Grant of Representation). Certified copies of these documents can be handy when you sit down to submit requests to close or memorialise accounts. 


Wills & Estates lawyers in Geelong 

There are no current laws governing digital assets as part of your Estate. It can be prudent to make a provision in your Will about what to do with your digital assets. Leaving instructions on how you want your digital assets dealt with upon your death provides guidance for your executor and family members so they can navigate dealing with your digital assets appropriately. 


If you have questions about adding digital assets to your Will, contact WJM lawyers in Geelong. Call (03) 5222 2077 or email to set up an appointment to discuss your Will or Estate plan.