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Social media and estate planning

Nevada residents may not think about social media as a part of their estate plan, but most of the major social media platforms have procedures in place to deal with a person's death. For example, a Facebook account can be deleted or memorialized. Facebook needs proof of the person's death. People can also choose what they would like done with their Facebook account and can appoint someone to manage the page using Facebook's Help Center.

An immediate family member or someone acting on behalf of the estate can get a Twitter account deactivated although the company might also require proof of death. The same can be done with Instagram, which will memorialize an account by the request of a person who is not a family member if a link to an obituary is provided.

Pinterest requires proof of death and proof of a person's relationship to the deceased although it may accept the person's name in the obituary as proof. A person's account can be removed from LinkedIn by contacting the help center with proof of death and proof of the contact person's relationship to the decedent. As part of an estate plan, a person can make a list of social media accounts, passwords and instructions.

Social media is one of many aspects of estate planning that people may not consider. Another consideration is that an estate plan is not something that should only be done once and put aside. It needs to be updated regularly as heirs may change due to births, deaths and marriages. Yet another consideration is preparing documentation in the event of a person's incapacity, and an attorney can often assist in drafting an appropriate directive.

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