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How to update digital profiles after a death

The LinkedIn update arrived with a work anniversary. It said to congratulate a connection on his 12th year with the State Department. The only thing was that he had passed away in 2009.

No one had notified LinkedIn. This leads to the important topic of social media and what to do with accounts after a loved one passes away. In this post, we will share some tips for LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.

When to report a death to LinkedIn

While not the most immediate concern after a loved one passes, these profiles can remain active indefinitely. After six months, it is a good idea to report a death to avoid an active profile sending out these work anniversary notices.

LinkedIn has a form that you can complete to let the company know about the passing of a loved one. You will need to enter information such as:

  • A URL of the person’s profile
  • Your relationship to the person
  • The date the person passed away and link to an obituary

Once you send in the request, LinkedIn will send a condolence reply and a link you can use to follow up.

How do you remove a Facebook profile after a death?

Each social media platform is different. Facebook, for instance, has more than 1 billion users. Estimates suggest that each year, more than 500,000 of its U.S. users die.

Like LinkedIn, Facebook has a form you need to complete to memorialize a loved one’s profile. It asks for date of death and documentation (again a link to an obituary will work).

If you are in the estate planning process, you can make the eventual administration of your estate easier for your loved ones by listing a legacy contact in your Facebook security settings. After memorialization, a legacy contact would be able to pin a post, accept or reject friend requests and update profile/cover photos. Without this designation, it is not possible for anyone to actively care for the profile after a request to memorialize it.

As more older relatives and friends become active on social media, it is important to discuss their wishes for their online representations after they pass. An inventory of social profiles, access information and details about what to do with them can provide a road map for loved ones as they wind down an estate.

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