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Wills – Now Including Social Media!

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Wills – Now Including Social Media!

by Martina Wormuth on May 8, 2012

So today I was going through my newsfeeds, as I usually do every morning, and something caught my eye. This article, posted by the Daily News (which I remember getting at my house growing up), talks about how the government is now advising that social media accounts are included in your will. I was shocked that the government was finally jumping on this train of thought, but I totally agree with it.

If you had shown that to me two years ago, I probably would have looked at it with a lot of skepticism. I also write for a financial blog, and I’ve done blog posts on wills before. I talk about how to make sure that every asset is covered, and how to determine where certain things go. I’ve talked about considering donating parts of your estate. I’ve talked about almost everything, but I never would talk about taking care of your social media in your will.

Then, my grandmother and my mom passed away within a year and a half of one another, both from different kinds of cancer. My grandma passed away in February of 2009, my mom passed away in June of 2010. My grandma had never used the internet, but my mom loved it. She would play games on there and, most importantly, she had a Facebook account. When I decided to live where I am now for good, it was our main way of keeping in touch. Then, she got diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer, a rare type that I can’t remember the name of, and passed away 6 months later.

My mom’s Facebook page has become a very nerve-wracking point of contention for me. I have friends on Facebook that are my mom’s friends and family. And there it is, right in front of me. Even though it’s been difficult anyway, seeing them post on her wall on occasion (with the standard “I wish you were here, I know you’re watching us” messages) brings up some really sad emotions. I thought about deleting it, but I knew they wouldn’t be happy.¬†Finally, I found out that you could memorialize someone’s Facebook page. So, I put in the information needed, and I changed my settings so none of those posts are on my newsfeed. Everyone’s happy. But, as her daughter (and the only one in our family who has a clue about social media) the decision fell on me, and it wasn’t a fun one to make.

It’s not only for reasons like mine that the government says for you should leave your password and account information to your family. It can also help prevent identity theft and hacked accounts. In general, it’s just a really good idea to have the way to deal with your social media written out clearly for all to see.

What do you think about all of this? Do you think social media is something that we need to worry about in our wills? Or is the government making this more of a big deal than it has to be? Are you considering putting what needs to be done with your social media accounts in your will? Why or why not? Leave some thoughts in the comments, have a great day, and we’ll see you here Thursday!

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