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Controlling Your Digital Afterlife: What Happens on Facebook After You Pass Away?

By Margaret Manning January 30, 2015 Mindset

Have you ever thought about your digital afterlife? You should! Most of us check in with Facebook every day to see what our friends and family are doing, watch funny videos and see the day’s news.

Social media has become a part of our routine and it’s hard to imagine life without it. But, did you ever think about what happens to your Facebook profile after you die?

On the surface, this might seem like a silly question. I mean, who really cares, right? Maybe, but, let’s think about this for a second.

What Will Your Digital Afterlife Be Like?

When we pass away, we are at the mercy of companies like Facebook and Microsoft to decide what to do with our data. What happens if our children want to download all of the pictures from our Facebook page? Or, what if they want to remove our page so that they don’t have to deal with the pain of our profile still being public after we pass away? What about if they want to access our messages or emails? Should they be allowed to? Would we even want them too? These are all important questions!

By the time we reach our 60s, we know the importance of having a will to make it clear what should happen to our possessions and what kind of funeral we would like. But, what about our digital possessions?

As I’m writing this, the guidelines for companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are inconsistent. As a result, if you want your wishes to be respected, the best thing to do is tell them what you want in your will.

Planning for your digital afterlife is just one more thing that you can do to limit the stress for your family when you pass away.

It’s a small thing… but, it makes a big difference in a world where our most treasured memories live on our computers.

I’d love to hear what you have to say about this. Please take a few minutes to respond to the questions below and “like” and share this article so that we can keep the conversation going.

What would you like to have happen to your Facebook profile and email when you pass away? Have you included your digital assets in your will? Does a trusted family member or your attorney have a copy of your passwords? Please join the conversation below.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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