In previous guides, we've discussed how to consider your digital presence when you die and how to take ownership of your digital legacy. When someone passes away without a social media plan in place, numerous questions arise. What happens to social accounts, and all the data, and what is the process for shutting them down?
In this guide, we will explore how to identify the accounts linked to your email address and social media usernames. By doing so, you can check off that ‘death admin’ task from your ‘life-admin’ list, making things easier for your loved ones if or when the time comes.
Why do I need to gather my online accounts?
When COVID-19 hit, a lot of people, particularly those aged 25-40, including Millennials, quickly created or updated their Wills. This could be due to the pandemic and conversations about death, or personal experiences with loss might have influenced this decision.
In any case, Millennials aimed to ensure their loved ones would be looked after if something happened to them. Discovering and organising your online accounts is a crucial aspect of end-of-life planning, too. This involves collecting all your accounts and deciding what you'd like to happen to them in case of your sudden passing.
How to find online accounts
Here are some step-by-step guides to get you started:
For accounts that you've created by “Signing Up With Google”, you can head on over to Gmail's security settings. From there, scroll through the list of connected apps to edit or revoke their access.
Here’s what you can do:
- To visit this section on Google, go to the My Account dashboard and click the Security tab on the left.
- Scroll down until you see ‘Your connections to third-party apps & services’
- Tap it to open a list of apps that you've given access to.
- From here, you can manage the settings for each app you’ve connected to your account. You can also see more information about what the app has access to.
Social media accounts
Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram
Meta owns three of the ‘big four’ social media companies – Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. To ensure you're at ease with the connected apps on any social media platform, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Facebook account
- Click on your profile picture
- Click Settings & Privacy, then Settings
- Click Accounts Center in the upper left
- Click on Accounts
- You should see all accounts that are linked to you. To revoke access, click Remove for the account/s you want to unlink.
LinkedIn is great for networking, but it’s not much use when you’re six feet under.
Here’s how to check your LinkedIn applications:
- Open your Account Settings
- Click Partners and Services
- You should see a list of third-party services (these might appear as job application sites with unusual names)
- To remove permissions, click Revoke.
Oh, Twitter/X. That old chestnut. Even if you haven’t logged onto the platform for a while, here’s how to check your applications:
- In the list of options, click More.
- Click Settings and Support
- Click Settings and Privacy > Security and Account Access > Apps and sessions.
- Here, you’ll see the full list of connected services
- Click Revoke Access for anything you no longer want to use (it might take a few minutes to update).
Hot Tip: Check your browser's saved accounts!
When you enter information online, your browser stores it, so you don't have to type it again next time. This includes email addresses and passwords. While pretty smart and uber-convenient, it's wise to check and update your autofill settings every now and then. You know, like digital maintenance. Head to your browser's settings, and review the list of old email-associated accounts you might have forgotten, especially if you've used the browser for a while.
Taking care of ‘death admin’ might not be the most fun life admin task to get stuck into, but it’s pretty important. Managing your online accounts is like curating your digital time capsule. It ensures that even if you’re not around, your online legacy is in good hands.
So, as we navigate this virtual fortress, let’s make sure our online footprint is more like a vibey playlist and less like a chaotic inbox. Because, you know, our future selves (and loved ones) will definitely appreciate it down the road. All thanks to your savvy organisation skills – well done, you!
Speaking of legacies, check out our guide on bringing yours to life with a legacy project. If you have any other questions about Wills or end-of-life planning up your sleeve, feel free to get in touch with the Willed team today! We’ll be glad to help.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, medical, accounting or tax advice.