A woman using a laptop

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

Imagine that you’re paying your loved one’s bills, but here’s the catch: they’re deceased.

 

That’s what happened to this woman, who is stuck paying for her deceased husband’s cell phone bill because she doesn’t know his account password.

 

Unfortunately, her husband didn’t record his passwords, so now she’s struggling to cancel his accounts and payments. She can’t override the password either, because she’s prompted with a security question she doesn’t know the answer to.

 

To prevent this from happening to others, we put together these tips for keeping passwords organized and managing social media accounts. That way, it’s one less thing to stress about when grieving a deceased loved one.

 

Importance of Recording Passwords

Frustrating situations like the one mentioned above are why it’s important to share your passwords. We suggest sharing your passwords with one or two trusted loved ones. You also can record them in a small notebook or store them in a flash drive. Just make sure to tell loved ones your passwords are in the notebook or flash drive and where they can find it.

 

These are important passwords that you should have recorded:

  • Account passwords for banking and paying bills
  • Email passwords (work and personal email accounts)
  • Social media passwords (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Personal accounts such as a website or blog
  • Miscellaneous accounts such as online shopping sites

Also, don’t forget about security questions. Many times you must answer these before you’re granted access to an account. You should record the answers to security questions such as “your first car” or “your childhood best friend’s name” along with your passwords.

 

Managing Social Media Accounts

When a loved one passes away, you may wonder what happens to their social media accounts. In most cases, accounts can either be deactivated or turned into a memorial page. Account users should either set up these arrangements or make sure loved ones have their account passwords to do so.

 

Even if the account holder is deceased, social media companies aren’t allowed to give out account information. So your loved ones must have your passwords to make final posts on your accounts, or to delete or memorialize them. You can even record a draft of what you want the final post to say, if you’d like.

 

Below is how to memorialize or delete the following social media accounts and what information you’ll need to provide. Instagram and Facebook allow you to either memorialize or deactivate the account, while Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest only let you deactivate it.

 

Facebook

Facebook users can choose a legacy contact to oversee maintaining their memorialized account. But if no prior arrangements were made, family members can delete or memorialize a Facebook account by filling out the special request form with the following information:

  • The requester’s full name and email address
  • Deceased’s full name, their Facebook timeline URL, and their account email address
  • Date of death
  • Proof of death with death certificate or other acceptable documentation

Instagram

To remove an Instagram account, there’s a removal request form that requires the following information:

  • The requester’s full name and email address
  • The deceased’s full name, date of death, and Instagram username
  • A link to their Instagram account
  • Verification that the requester is a family member of the deceased

To memorialize an Instagram account, there’s a request account memorialization form that requires the following information:

  • The requester’s full name and email address
  • The deceased’s full name and Instagram username
  • Proof of death (obituary or news article)
  • Date of death

Twitter

To deactivate a Twitter account, there’s a deceased user form that needs the following information:

  • The account user’s full name and Twitter username
  • The requester’s full name and relationship to the account user
  • Copy of the requester’s ID and email address
  • Copy of the deceased’s death certificate

LinkedIn

To deactivate a LinkedIn account, there is a request removal form that requires the following information:

  • The requester’s full name, email address, and relationship to the deceased
  • The deceased’s full name, email address, and date of death
  • Link to an obituary or news article to verify the death
  • Link to their LinkedIn account and name of their most recent workplace

Pinterest

To deactivate a Pinterest account, you need to email care@pinterest.com and include the following information:

  • The requester’s full name, relationship to the deceased, and proof of relationship with acceptable documentation
  • Account user’s full name and email address
  • Link to their Pinterest account
  • Proof of their death (death certificate, obituary, or news article)