Who will manage your Facebook? Part 2

 In Estate Planning, Executor Help

There’s no denying the fame of Facebook. While the social media giant has developed user-friendly options for your personal page in the event of your death, there are also planning opportunities if you have a business or group page! Facebook currently allows individual’s pages to be deleted or memorialized- (through a Legacy Contact) as we previously discussed in our last blog. However, Facebook is hardly limited to personal accounts. Pretty much every company these days has a social media presence, and given that roughly 8,000 Facebook users die a day, it is very clear that these business pages should be dealt with, but how?  

  
Your Digital Undertaker Sharon Hartung offers us with the following advice “If you use social media like Facebook for more than personal use, such as blogs, community groups, volunteering, networking, small business –consider setting up a Facebook business account, with a separate page for the topic/group.  This will allow you to appoint administrators so that more than one person has access to the page.  It is important of course to document the business process associated with who can access what and why.”  

  
Choosing an alternate person as an administrator for your non-personal presence is an excellent preplanning tool to have your page managed upon death.  

Right now, there are three options when it comes to your business or group page. (We will call it a business page for the remainder of this article.)  

  1. Have your business page deleted by an Admin  
  1. Have your business page deleted without an Admin  
  1. Keep your business page up and running  

Let’s look into these options in more detail…. 
  
Having your business page deleted by an admin  

When you run a business presence on Facebook, there is the option to add multiple administrators to the page in the settings section under “Page Roles.”  Depending on how you would like your business page managed after death (in this example, deleted), ensure to name a trusted person as an admin and inform them of your wishes for that particular page. As an administrator, that individual will have complete access to the account and will be able to fully manage the page, which includes shutting it down for good.  

  

Having your business page deleted without an admin  

If you choose not to assign an additional role on your business page, it can still be removed! There currently isn’t an official preplanning tool at the moment as there is for personal pages, which means you will need to delegate the job to someone. Now, Facebook requires that a personal profile is set up before creating a business page. Facebook will not take action in deleting your business page until your death is confirmed and your personal page is modified to reflect your wishes. The easiest and most efficient way to delete your business page (without naming an administrator directly on the page) is to assign a Legacy Contact in your personal profile setting. Your Legacy Contact will either delete or memorialize your personal page first and then will be able to request that your business page be deleted as well.   

  

Keeping your business page going  

Many companies continue to operate after an owner’s death, which means that the business page may stay running until it’s sold or someone else takes over. If you have named additional admins to the business page, they can keep controlling the page or allow a new admin to sign up and take over the account.  
  
If you haven’t named another admin to the account, we strongly encourage that you set that up on the page’s settings in the settings section under “Page Roles.”  However, if you still choose not to add an admin to the account, the process will be pretty similar to deleting your business page without an admin. First off, your personal page will be either deleted or memorialized upon death, depending on what you have chosen as a preplanning option.  If you selected a Legacy Contact, they should be able to make themselves the business page admin for the time being. When Facebook learns of your death, it can take up to 3-4 weeks for your own admin status to be removed, allowing someone else to sign up for the role. During this time, no one will be able to update the page. From here, that person can stay on as an Admin while they find someone to take over the role for the business, or they can stay on and take on that role for themselves.   

 
Social media and digital assets are easily forgotten in the grand scheme of estate planning. Everyone remembers to leave bank account information and where the keys are to that beloved old car, but your online accounts are often forgotten. With social media and online platforms continuing their rise in popularity, our wishes are something that we need to remember to communicate to our loved ones. Detailing exactly how the company’s Facebook page should be managed after your death is just the tip of the iceberg! 

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