Wills, Estates, and Trusts | Social Media Accounts

Digital Estate Planning For Social Media Accounts When You Die

Many people wonder about what happens to your social media accounts when you die, but they never ask a lawyer. For those of you that have done this, you are in luck. Today we are going to answer all your questions about the legal process behind this. We will also explain how you can make arrangements for this.

Property Rights & Asset Rights For Digital Estate

Unlike physical estate, digital estate laws are not up-to-date. When you consider how quickly social media took over, it’s no surprise that lawmakers have not had time to create laws governing this property. One important thing to keep in mind is that when you sign up for an account with almost any web-service, you are agreeing to their terms of use. When you buy a song off of iTunes, it is yours, and yours solely. When you pass away, that digital right does not get passed down, it is terminated. This means the license to download it is only allowed to your account. Most social media websites follow similar rules. The content that is generated on the website by an account is property of the website owner, not the account holder in most cases.

Digital Rights Planning For Social Media Accounts

With all of this in mind, it is important to keep track of all your digital accounts. When you pass away it is important that someone has access in order to take care of things. Think about someone that runs a digital business. Unless there is a special plan in place in the will, your family will have to hire an attorney to pull any money from an online payment platform such as Paypal or Google. Ideally you will find an estate planning attorney that will help guide you through all the steps. The benefit to this is that in the case of your untimely death, the attorney will be aware of the situation. They will be able to quickly help your family without having to waste valuable time finding an attorney.

Final Words

Digital media rights are commonly overlooked in will/estate planning, and it can cause huge issues for the family of the deceased. Being aware of the common problems and how to overcome them will make the situation much easier. Find an estate and will planning attorney to go over this with you. And contact an experienced digital estate-planning attorney in Lakeland FL, Mark McMann, P.A. We will gladly help you with any questions you may have.