Search for the late actor and comedian Robin Williams on Facebook and you'll quickly come to an invitation to "connect" to him. That could be difficult, to say the least. The much-beloved Academy Award winner departed this earthly realm four months ago. His page is now set up to receive tributes from his considerable fan base. Could someone do the same for you if you suddenly died? Apparently not. Read on ...
Wait, you can still connect with Robin Williams on Facebook? As strange as it seems since Williams passed away several months ago, you can still "like" his Facebook page according to The Ledgerin an article titled "Access Bill: Clarify Online Life After Death."
It appears that someone else had access to Williams' account when he passed away and has left the page open for fans to express sympathy for Williams' family and pay tribute to Williams himself.
Most people, however, do not share their Facebook passwords with other people.
When they pass away, their families have a difficult time accessing the accounts.
Under current privacy laws and Facebook policies, no one can access the account without prior approval of the account holder. The obvious problem is that if the account holder has passed away, approval to access the account cannot be given.
Many states are attempting to change laws to allow access to digital accounts after the owner has passed away. However, changing laws is often a slow process.
Until the laws in your state do change, it is important to plan for what will happen to your Facebook page and other digital accounts after you pass away.
Do you have plans for your Facebook page when you pass? For more information on this and other forms of estate planning, contact us.
Reference: The Ledger (December 13, 2014) "Access Bill: Clarify Online Life After Death"