Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita advises Hoosiers to set up an Apple, Google, or Facebook “legacy contact” to ensure their social media accounts and cell phone content are secure and accessible to appointed loved ones after death.
“Death is never something we want to think about,” Rokita said. “However, it’s best to be prepared and gain the reassurance knowing your online presence will be taken care of by someone you love and trust.”
The legacy contact option on all three platforms allows the account holder to invite someone they trust to take over their social media accounts and cell phone data after death. This can be used to post the dates of the funeral, notify friends through the account holder’s contacts app, and even access medical records through the account holder’s health app.
The account holder should have an Apple device signed in with an Apple ID, two-factor authentication turned on for the Apple ID, and be over the age of 13. An access code is then generated. The Legacy Contact must have the access code and death certificate to access the account holder’s data.
Google’s version of a legacy contact is called “Inactive Account Manager.” Contacts will receive a notification that the account has been inactive after a specified amount of time. Contacts will receive an email with information written by the account holder during setup. The account holder can choose exactly what data they want to share with the trusted contact and how long that data will be accessible.
Facebook has a similar option, which allows for the account holder to add or remove a legacy contact in the memorialization setting. After the account holder’s page is memorialized, the legacy contact will be able to make decisions for the Facebook page.
When the account holder passes, they can choose to have their account permanently deleted or appoint a legacy contact to manage their memorialized account.
Attorney General Rokita said most Hoosiers know how important it is to create a will to assign their possessions and property to loved ones. With modern technology, it’s wise to consider the transfer of your intellectual property as well.