Social media is now an integral part of modern day life. Whether we're checking Facebook for updates on friends and family, connecting with colleagues on LinkedIn for networking, sharing photos on Instagram of our latest adventures, or tweeting thoughts on Twitter with our followers...most of us have at least 1 social media profile. In fact, the average internet user has between 5 and 7 social media accounts. According to Pew Research, only 5% of the American population had a social media profile in 2005 compared to 69% in 2017. That is an astounding rate of adoption that has impacted most of us.
While social media accounts start their life empty and are free to obtain, the more we use them, the more they become an asset or liability that must be managed similar to our physical assets. As it relates to planning, many people are familiar with the idea of estate planning for things such as bank accounts, homes, cars, and material possessions. However, very few of us are considering our online assets such as our social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. These social media profiles have real tangible value from years of sharing photos, videos, and messages with others.
Collectively, we are pioneering a new frontier of technology as we seamlessly merge our physical existence with our digital identities. Naturally, we now must begin to think about how to handle these online profiles after death. News outlets including NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and FOX among others are covering these stories at an increasing rate, and we've collected just a few of them below to share with our community. We will be expanding this list in the months to come as new stories are published, and old stories are uncovered. If you find other interesting articles, please share in the comments section!
1) How to Delete a Deceased Loved One’s Facebook Page
2) How To Close Online Accounts And Services When Someone Dies
3) What Happens to Your Social Media Profiles When You Die?
4) What will happen to YOUR social media accounts when you die?
5) What happens to all my social networking information when I die?
6) What happens to your social media accounts when you die?
7) What happens to your social media accounts when you die is up to you
 Pew Research Center: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/