What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?

What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?
  • There are 2.2 billion people that use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger every day. 
  • Memorialized profiles on Facebook get viewed by 30 million users per month.
  • Multiple documents can be required to memorialize a social media profile.
  • On average, 428 Facebook users die every hour.

Social media accounts are now an important part of everyday life to billions of people across the world. But what happens to your accounts when you pass away? Let’s look at the three most popular social media platforms and how you can prepare for what happens to them.


Facebook offers a memorialization option. This allows a friend or relative to inform Facebook about your death and freezes your Facebook page so that no comments, posts or photos can be removed. To do this, Facebook will need a copy of your death certificate or some other proof that you have passed away.

Another option that Facebook offers is the ability to choose a legacy contact. While a legacy contact can’t log in to your account, they can do things like respond to friend requests, write new posts and update your profile picture.

To choose a legacy contact, go to the settings section of Facebook, choose memorialization settings, and then add the name of the friend you’ve picked to be your contact. Be sure to let your friend know and discuss your wishes.


Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t have an option for memorialization. A profile can either be left alone, or it can be deactivated.

In order to deactivate a deceased user’s account, a family member or the person authorized to act on behalf of the estate must contact Twitter and submit a deactivation request. Once the request has been submitted, Twitter will request a copy of the death certificate and the ID of the person making the request.

Twitter will never provide access to someone’s account once they have passed away.


Instagram offers the option to remove the account of someone who has passed away or, like Facebook, it can be memorialized.

To remove the account, the person making the request must provide proof of death and the relationship to the deceased. Relationships can be proved with a marriage or birth certificate or something that shows the individual lawfully represents the deceased (executor of an estate, for instance).

In order to memorialize the account, Instagram requires proof of death, which can be a death certificate, news article or obituary. Once an account is memorialized, Instagram will stop it from appearing on the news feed. To see posts, users will have to go directly to the profile. Instagram does this to prevent upsetting friends and family.

Social media profiles contain a treasure trove of information and memories. It’s important to talk to your loved ones and let them know what you would like done with your profiles once you’re no longer around to control them.

Copyright 2019, NewsReady.com