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Closing Social Media Accounts After a Death

Handling a loved one’s social media accounts can be one of the last things on a family’s mind after someone dies. At the same time, making sure these accounts are closed or shut down can help save others from confusion, prevent people with bad intentions from gaining access to accounts, and add to your peace of mind when handling the tasks on your to-do list for your loved one.

What happens to your social media accounts when you die?

When someone dies, a few things can happen to their social media accounts, depending on the platform and their policies and practices. The social media account could be deleted, memorialized, or left in its original state. If family members don’t have access to the account, they’ll need to follow the steps put in place by the company or contact the company to handle memorializing or deleting the account. There are also companies that automatically deactivate accounts after a period of inactivity, so it depends.

What type of information do I need in order to close a social media account for someone who has died?

If you’re trying to close, deactivate, or memorialize a social media account for a loved one, you’ll generally need a few pieces of information. If the company has an outlined process or online form you can complete, this information can be easily uploaded online. However, there are some companies that require you to mail in documentation in order to close an account, so it’s a good idea to have some copies ready to go. In general, you should have the following information:

  • The decedent’s full name
  • The decedent’s email on the account, if known
  • The account name or handle
  • A copy of the death certificate
  • A copy or link to the obituary or article reporting the death
  • Verification of your own identity (such as your license or ID)

Closing and/or Memorializing Social Media Accounts

Unless you already have access or login information to the individual’s account, it’s unlikely that the company will grant you access and control over the account. In most cases, it’s a good idea to either memorialize or deactivate the account. If you memorialize the account, visitors will know the account is memorialized and be able to see that the individual has passed away. Memorialization is not an option on all platforms, so you’ll want to check with the company first if you’re interested in that option.

Facebook offers both the option to memorialize an account or close the account after someone passes away. A memorialized account will stay up and lets people view the page even after the person passed away. Closing the account removes it from Facebook.

How to close a Facebook account when someone dies

If you’re looking for information on how to remove a deceased person from Facebook, you’ll need to follow the steps to close the account (not memorialize it). In order to close a Facebook account, you will need the following information:

  • A scan or photo of the death certificate
  • Your full name and email address
  • The decedent’s full name
  • A link to the decedent’s profile
  • The decedent’s date of death

How to memorialize a Facebook account

If you choose to memorialize a Facebook account, you have some options in terms of the information you provide. You’ll need the following information:

  • An obituary, memorial card, or death certificate
  • Your full name and email address
  • The decedent’s full name
  • A link to the decedent’s profile
  • The decedent’s date of death

Closing the account will delete it and take it off Facebook’s database. If you decide to memorialize the account, it will stay up in a memorialized version.

Once you have the required information, fill out this form.

Instagram offers two options to those who are trying to handle a deceased loved one’s account — memorialization or closing the account entirely. Memorializing the account keeps the account up, letting others view the posts that have been made. Closing the account removes it from Instagram.

How do I close an Instagram account?

Only verified immediate family members can request that an account be closed or removed from Instagram. You’ll need one of the following:

  • The decedent’s birth certificate
  • The decedent’s death certificate
  • Proof that you are a lawful representative of the decedent or their estate

You’ll also need to provide the following:

  • Your full name and email address
  • The decedent’s full name
  • The deceased’s Instagram username
  • A link to the deceased’s Instagram
  • The decedent’s date of death

Once you have this information, you’ll need to fill out this form.

How do I memorialize an Instagram account?

You do not need to be an immediate family member in order to memorialize an Instagram account.

You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • A link to the obituary or article reporting the death
  • Your full name and email address
  • The decedent’s full name
  • The deceased’s Instagram username
  • The decedent’s date of death

Twitter offers the ability to deactivate the account of a deceased individual, but does not offer the option to memorialize it. Here’s how to get someone’s twitter account deleted after they pass away.

How do I delete a twitter account for someone who died?

Only verified immediate family members or people who are authorized to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate can request that an account be closed or removed from Twitter. You’ll need one of the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • Your relationship to the decedent
  • The decedent’s twitter name
  • The decedent’s full name

They may ask you for additional information such as a death certificate or verification of your identity and relationship to the decedent. You can fill out the request form here.

To delete a YouTube account, you need to submit the request through Google’s form.

How to delete a YouTube account for someone who passed away

Google will assist you with closing a loved one’s YouTube account. You’ll need the following information:

  • The decedent’s full name
  • The decedent’s email address
  • Your full name (or the full name of the legal representative)
  • Your email address (or the email address of the legal representative)
  • Your driver’s license or ID
  • A death certificate

You’ll need to be an authorized representative or immediate family member in order to close the YouTube account. You’ll need to make the request through this form.

Snapchat won’t give you access to the account but they will help you in closing the account for someone who has passed away.

How do you delete a Snapchat account for someone who passed away

You’ll need the following information in order to delete a Snapchat account:

  • A death certificate
  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • Your age
  • Your relationship to the decedent
  • The decedent’s Snapchat username

You can contact their support through this form.

Pinterest will assist you in deleting the decedent’s Pinterest account through email.

How to delete a Pinterest account for someone who has passed away

Email the support team at care@pinterest.com with a request that they delete the account due to death and include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • The full name and email address on the decedent’s account
  • A link to their Pinterest account
  • Documentation of their passing (ex: death certificate, news article, obituary) Your relationship to the person with supporting documentation such as:
  • Birth or marriage certificate
  • Public mention of relation
  • Family/household records
  • Notarized proof of relation
  • Your name as part of the obituary

LinkedIn offers both the option to close the account and memorialize the account to authorized representatives or immediate family members of the deceased.

How to delete a LinkedIn Account for someone who passed away

If you’re authorized as a legal representative for the decedent, you can submit a request to close the account or to memorialize the account. Memorialized accounts keep the account on LinkedIn, mark it as Memorialized and restrict access to the account. Closed accounts are permanently removed from LinkedIn.

You’ll need the following information:

  • Member’s full name
  • LinkedIn profile link/URL
  • Your relationship
  • Member’s email address
  • Date of their passing
  • Link to the obituary

You’ll also need the following information to show that you have the authority to represent the decedent:

  • Letters of Administration
  • Letters of Testamentary
  • Letters of Representation
  • Other court order appointing the requestor as an authorized representative for the decedent’s estate