Who will manage your Instagram?

 In Estate Planning, Executor Help

With roughly 1 billion active users, Instagram holds the title of one of the most popular social networks worldwide. With so many active profiles, you have to wonder what is happening to those accounts of someone who is deceased. As the team at ETP Canada is running through the exercise of cleaning up digital assets, we decided to look further into the social media giant Instagram for answers.  

Unlike Facebook, Instagram does not reveal much about its death policy. The help page (https://help.instagram.com/) says the following about a deceased user’s profile; “In the event of the death of an Instagram user, please contact us. We will usually conduct our communication via email; should we require any other information; we will contact you at the email address you have provided in your request.” 

It does not look like there are options to pre-plan your account within your settings, however Instagram gives us the following two options after the person has passed away. 

  1. Delete the Instagram profile after death. 
  1. Memorialize the Instagram profile after death. 

To do either choicethe Executor will need to contact Instagram first. Let’s investigate these two options in more depth.  

How to delete an Instagram profile after a death
An Executor can request that an account be removed from Instagram if they have proof of death and proof of their relationship with the deceased. Instagram suggests a birth certificate, death certificate, and/or a copy of the will naming the Executor. 

How to memorialize an Instagram profile after a death 

An Executor can request the memorialization of an Instagram account with the proof of death aloneOnce the account is memorialized it cannot be changed or edited in any way and the posts created by the account holder will stay just as they are. No person can log into the account, nor can any likes, tags, or comments be added to the profile. Memorialized accounts are hidden from the search tab and all other public sections of the platform 

Since there is no way to change your settings to accommodate your wishes ahead of time it is best to leave clear instructions if you have an account with Instagram. Have you discussed your Instagram page with your loved ones? Do you have any directions in your Will for this event? If not, you should! 


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