Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More About the Social Media Will

Unknown-4Technology has such a presence in our daily lives – we’re often interacting with email and Facebook on our phones before we even get out of bed every morning. As I blogged previously, Washington now has a “social media will” as one of their personal finance recommendations. Rhode island and Connecticut were the first two states that have adopted internet probate laws – they have not updated those laws to keep up with the growth of social media yet, but a 2010 Oklahoma statute gives estate administrators the power to access social networks and email after someone has passed away.

It may not be the best idea to place your passwords and other digital information into a will, because wills become public information once they are admitted to probate. It doesn’t have to stop at making passwords available to family members after you die – some internet users are ensuring that they can update their social media pages even after they die. DeadSocial is a fee service that allows users to pre-designate content that will be posted at defined intervals or on certain dates. Users just have to give their DeadSocial access information to someone prior to their passing, and then that person would initiate the predesigned posts.

See Jacoba Urist, The Social Media Will: An Expert Guide To Your Digital Afterlife, The Atlantic, May 14, 2012. 

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