When Loved Ones Go Offline
In today’s technology-driven world, most people have active accounts on over a dozen websites. When they pass away, it’s up to the family to deal with social media, streaming services, and other online accounts.
If you find yourself in this position, don’t worry! We’re here to help make the process seem less complicated and daunting. Keep reading to learn which documents you’ll want on hand, how to close different types of accounts, and other solutions you can put in place ahead of time.
Where to Begin
Different websites have various procedures for closing an account after someone’s passing. These procedures change and shift with time, but there are some familiar places to begin and a handful of documents that can help you through most (if not all) situations.
You should have a clear photo or scan of these documents in addition to the physical version:
- Birth Certificate
- Death Certificate
- Proof of Relation to the Deceased/Proof of Executorship or Authority
- Membership cards (when applicable)
Memorializing their Social Media
When handling social media accounts, many people choose between two options. You can close the account entirely or leave it in a “memorial state,” where the account is still public, and people can post kind messages, stories, or other memories to honor your loved one.
Regardless of your option, you’ll still need access to the account(s) in question. Different platforms have varying processes, but here are a few of the most popular sites to give you an idea of what to expect.
- Facebook – You must submit a request. Facebook requires proof of being a family member or having executorship and proof of death.
- Instagram – Requires proof of death to create a memorial account. You’ll need proof of being an immediate family member to delete the account.
- Twitter – You must submit a request and will receive further information afterward.
- Snapchat – You need to use the Snapchat support page. They’ll require your name, email, and username if you have an account. They’ll also need your age, the user’s age, the user’s Snapchat username, a death certificate, and your relationship to the user.
- Tiktok – You must submit a request and will receive further information afterward.
- Pinterest – You must email their customer support with your full name, your family member’s name, account email, a link to their account, proof of their death, and proof of family relation.
- Reddit – You must submit a request with your family member’s full name and email, a link to their profile, proof of your relationship to the account holder, and proof of their death.
- Tumblr – You need to email customer support with the account holder’s username, proof of their death, and proof of family relations.
- LinkedIn – You must submit a request with the member’s full name, LinkedIn profile link, email address, date of their passing, relationship with the deceased, and a link to the obituary.
- Match – Match automatically deletes all accounts once notified of the account holder’s passing. If they don’t do it promptly, email them a copy of the death certificate, which should be taken care of.
Annulling their Accounts
Social media isn’t the only type of account you may have to address after your loved one’s passing. Most people have several other accounts for various purposes, from food delivery to streaming services. Some accounts will continue charging a monthly fee until they are canceled, so it’s essential to be thorough.
Every account is different, but here are some of the most prevalent ones to give you an idea of how to approach things.
- Mint – You must contact customer support with proof of death and family relation. They may request to speak with you over the phone.
- McAfee – You must submit a request with the account holder’s full name and email. You’ll also need to copy a copy of your government ID to prove your relationship to the account holder, the last four digits of the credit card associated with the account, the billing address associated with the account, a copy of the death certificate or obituary, and proof of your authority to close the account.
- Hulu – You must contact customer service with proof of death and authority to close the account.
- Netflix – You need to contact customer support with the email address associated with the account, the phone number associated with the account, and the payment method (credit or debit card number) associated with the account.
- Disney+ – You must contact customer support and will receive further information afterward.
- Amazon/Amazon Prime – You need to contact customer support with the account holder’s full name, email, and death certificate.
- GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Doordash – Contact customer support with the account holder’s full name and email address.
- Grocery Store Loyalty Accounts – Find a manager at a local branch or call the store to speak to someone about closing the account and/or transferring rewards to a new account.
- Airline Accounts – For airline accounts, especially if you’d like any points or benefits transferred to another account, it’s best to call customer service directly and let them assist you in handling the account. You’ll want to have the death certificate on hand, along with any account-specific information.
Plan Ahead with GoodTrust
Tracking down different accounts and closing them all without login information can be easy if you want to plan ahead to avoid this hassle. This secure online service lets you keep all your important account information in a digital vault. You can authorize someone to access your data, so they can handle everything directly after you pass.
GoodTrust also offers other services, like estate planning and establishing executorship. If you’re planning ahead and want to learn more, visit their website to see everything they offer.
There are always many loose ends to take care of after someone’s passing, but it doesn’t have to be stressful and difficult. Closing various accounts may take some time, but hopefully, this blog makes the task a little less daunting. As long as you have the necessary documentation, everything should be fine, and you’ll be finished in no time.