Your Digital Estate Plan – Part 2

Last week I discussed the importance of having a digital estate plan. It is also important to know what the guidelines are for the services you use regularly. I have included a few such services below. This information is only a guideline and you should check the exact nature of the agreement with each of your service providers.


Facebook offers to remove or “memorialize” an account upon proof of death. Friends or family can contact Facebook via a “Report a Deceased Person’s Profile” form which requires them to state their relationship to the deceased and provide a link to an obituary or news item as proof of death. A “memorialized” profile remains online but is removed from public search results. The wall is open for existing Facebook friends to pay their respects on, but others cannot add the profile to their list of friends. The account is barred from any login attempts.


Google requires hardcopy information to be posted or faxed to them before they will provide access to the content of a deceased person’s account. The required information includes 1)your full name, physical mailing address, and email address; 2) a photocopy of your government issued ID or driver’s license; 3) the gmail address of the individual who passed away; 4) a copy of an email between you and the deceased; 5) proof of death; 6) a probate or other court order stating that you are the lawful representative of the deceased’s estate; or if the deceased was under the age of 18 and you are the parent of the individual, a copy of the deceased’s birth certificate.


LinkedIn requires a completed death verification form emailed or faxed to them to remove a profile.


Twitter states that “if we are notified that a Twitter user has passed away, we can remove their account or assist family members in saving a backup of their public Tweets.” They request the following information: 1) Your full name, contact information (including email address), and your relationship to the deceased user. 2) The username of the Twitter account, or a link to the profile page of the Twitter account. 3) A link to a public obituary or news article.

Having a plan in place so that those you leave behind can easily identify what services you are using is the first step in your digital plan.

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Law Offices of Debbie J. Cunningham

Debbie Cunningham is an Irving attorney providing affordable estate planning to the Dallas/ Fort-Worth areas. She understands the steps you should take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Debbie is family-focused and wants to ensure her clients are fully informed on the options that are available for their families. Debbie’s own blended family has given her valuable insights into the complexities of family dynamics.

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