Government Advises Americans to Create ‘Social Media Will’ to Handle Facebook, Twitter, Email Accounts After Death
Meena Hart Duerson, New York Daily News (May 7, 2012)
USA.gov: Writing a Social Media Will
It’s unfortunate how many people believe that estate planning is only for wealthy people. People at all economic levels benefit from an estate plan. Upon death, an estate plan legally protects and distributes property based on your wishes and the needs of your family and/or survivors with as little tax as possible.
Social Media Executor. This is the individual that the USA.gov’s website recommends you use to manage your Social Media Will. For the foreseeable future, that’s a growth industry job. It’s also not that new. In one way or another, the Death Reference Desk has discussed the nuts and bolts of postmortem social media issues with Facebook, digital assets, and the Death + Technology section. The Economist magazine also recently weighed in on this topic, so it must be serious(!).
What is slightly different with this specific Death Ref post about the postmortem digital word is USA.gov’s involvement. We now have an official American government website making recommendations about creating a Social Media Will. I don’t want to overstate any of these suggestions, since five years from now ‘social media’ may well have morphed into something totally different.
The next big question will be whether or not, and how, postmortem digital assets could be taxable as inheritable wealth. I have no idea how that issue will play out but I expect somehow, somewhere this situation has already arisen.
In the meantime, check out USA.gov’s social media will suggestions.