Estate Planning

The widespread adoption of social media has changed our lives in many ways. Take a moment to reflect on your own online presence. Are you on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Classmates? What about an online dating profile or membership in an alumni forum?

These are great ways to connect with other people. But what happens to these accounts when you pass away?

Facebook has acknowledged the significant role it plays in people’s lives, rolling out its “Legacy Contact” feature in Canada earlier this year. Legacy Contact gives you the ability designate a person you trust to manage certain aspects of your Facebook account in the event of your death. This person could pin a memorial tribute at the top of your wall, moderate friend requests, and curate pictures posted to your timeline. Depending on how you fill out the legacy instructions, you can have your profile changed into a tribute page or opt to have your account deleted entirely.

While other social media may follow suit, in the interim you may want to consider leaving specific instructions with your power of attorney or executor. Most sites will remove your profile upon receiving proof of your demise, but you may prefer to be memorialized in the ether.

Bottom line: Do your family a favour and give some thought about the electronic footprints you’ll leave behind.