How To Manage Social Media & Email Accounts After The Loss Of A Loved One

By: Louis Bruno
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Having been left with your loved one’s personal effects after they pass, this can now often include their social media or email accounts and in an age of technology it can be difficult to know where to start, particularly with the younger generations! However, it is important not to ignore them as they reach a wide network of your loved one’s friends and connections so it not only makes it easier for you to spread the news but also to ensure that the emails and social media aren’t being contacted.

Check the Terms of Service

The first thing you should do is check the terms of service of each platform to find out about your options. Facebook and Instagram, for example, will allow you to memorialize an account with proof of death which could be a way of honouring your loved one. Most platforms will need to see proof of death in order to deactivate or close the account on behalf of someone else so be prepared to make copies to email over.

Make sure you aren’t breaking federal law in your country by logging into your loved one’s account and posting on their behalf but normally this is considered okay as you let others know about service arrangements and details.

Share Memories

You can create a post with an image and ask others to share their favourite memory of your loved one that you could collate for the service or your personal records once the account is deactivated as a way to also help others with their sadness and grief. You may decide to deactivate the account altogether because it is too painful and this is okay too, although you may consider letting everyone know beforehand and giving them a date it will become inactive.

Emails can be a little trickier because there is often sensitive information contained but you can contact the provider and have the account deactivated, again with proof of death. You may first want to make a note of the organisations that are contacting your loved one so that you can contact them to remove their name from the mailing lists and avoid issues in the future (some organisations such as banks or credit cards may also need proof of death as well.)

Although it is a difficult time, it is important that social media and emails are handled correctly and can often be a lot of work, particularly if your loved one had a big online presence.

If you have any more questions or need help, feel free to visit our website or call a member of staff who will be happy to help. 


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