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Your social media options

Don’t leave the precious memories you’ve shared on social media floating in cyberspace

Considering the emotional value of photographs, billions of us post images every day without thinking about what will happen to these very personal memories when they die.

Remember, the likes of Facebook will only know a person has died if someone tells them. If nothing is done with your profile after you die, it will remain private to you but active and vulnerable to abuse.

Most social media platforms have a policy explaining what to do when someone dies. There are also steps you can take now to choose what should happen to your profile after your death.

Here’s a brief introduction to the policies of some popular social media platforms. This is not an exhaustive list and policies can change, so always do your own research too.

What are my options?

You can decide in advance what happens to Facebook when you die. You can:

  1. Close your Facebook account – your profile will be permanently removed from Facebook
  2. Memorialise your Facebook account – your profile will be visible to your friends and family but it cannot be accessed
  3. Nominate a legacy contact – who will be able to manage your account and download photos, videos and posts etc. to pass on to your loved ones

If you haven’t left any instructions, once Facebook is informed of your death they will memorialise your account, unless asked to delete it.

Read Facebook's full policy here

What are my options?

An authorised person or family member can request to have your Twitter account deactivated by submitting this privacy form.

Twitter will send the requester an email explaining what details must be provided to deactivate the account, including the requester’s ID and the deceased’s death certificate.

Read Twitter’s full policy here

What are my options?

A colleague, classmate, loved one or authorised person (e.g. executor) can request a LinkedIn profile is removed and the account closed by submitting this form and providing the proof required e.g. an obituary.

Read LinkedIn’s full policy here

What are my options?

An authorised person or family member can request to have the account deactivated by sending an email to care@pinterest.com giving details including the full name, email address and a link to the deceased’s Pinterest account, as well as proof of the death and the requester’s ID.

Read Pinterest’s full policy here

What are my options?

An authorised person or family member can request to:

  • Delete your account – your profile will be permanently removed from Instagram
  • Memorialise your account – your profile will be visible to your friends and family but it cannot be accessed

Read Instagram’s full policy here

What are my options?

Currently WhatsApp can’t delete an account on a person’s behalf, so someone will need access to your mobile phone in order to delete the account for you. Make sure somebody you trust knows how to unlock your phone.

Your account can be deleted in the app under “Settings” by entering the associated phone number in the full international format.

Read WhatsApp’s full policy here

What are my options?

Google’s ‘Inactive Account Manager’ service lets you decide what happens to your account when you die. This service includes Gmail, YouTube and Google+ accounts. You can:

  • Set a timeout period – after which your account can be treated as inactive
  • Choose to share your data with a nominated contact – photos, emails etc
  • Delete your account – your account will be permanently removed

Read Googles full policy here

information icon Precious memories…

Don’t rely entirely on social media and remote ‘cloud’ storage like Dropbox or iCloud to keep your sentimental digital assets such as photos and videos safe. To be certain these precious memories don’t die with you, back them up onto an external hard drive as well. Or go traditional with your photos and put them into an album you can leave for others to enjoy.

Download our digital accounts checklist

Digital legacy pack illustration

A useful checklist to help you create a full list of your social media, email and other online accounts.

Download

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.