What happens to your TikTok profile when you die?
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You should make plans for what should happen to your TikTok profile when you die.
Unlike Facebook, TikTok currently has no opportunity for your profile to be memorialised. It is simply a case of the profile remaining online, or being deleted. The question is, how do you ensure that that can be done?
Can I have a Legacy Contact on TikTok?
No. Some platforms (eg Facebook and Apple) allow you to nominate a ‘legacy contact’ (ie whilst you are still alive) meaning that that nominated person can then have access to your account in the event of you passing.
TikTok does not offer this, or anything similar.
How can my family delete my TikTok profile after I die?
At the moment, given that there is no legacy contact (or similar), the only thing you can do is either leave instructions with your family/executors, or rely on the ‘inactivity policy’ applicable at the time (which for many platforms will include deletion of an account after a set period).
What is a Digital Will?
A digital will (as they are increasingly being called is an informal document left by you to give access to your social medial and other online accounts. There is no legislation to define what a ‘digital will’ should include, or what format it should follow. NB, it is different to a ‘normal’ will and is not intended to replace it either!
The Wills Act 1837 still dictates how a ‘normal’ will should be made, signed, and witnessed. Obviously, TikTok was someway off being developed all those years ago! As social media (and online accounts generally) continue to form an integral part of our lives, how we then deal with those online profiles/accounts is also something that is coming into focus.
A ‘traditional’ will deals with the assets in our estate, and ultimately will generally need your executors to obtain a grant of probate. That grant of probate then gives your executors the authority to close bank accounts, sell houses, and so on. Having done that, they will then pay cash legacies, and distribute the balance to the beneficiaries of your residuary estate.
A normal will is legally binding, and not really the place therefore to be including details of your ‘digital estate’.
Why should I not just deal with my ‘Digital Estate’ in my Will?
There are a number of reasons why you should not try to deal with your digital estate in your will. As above, your will is legally binding, and deals with the financial aspect of your estate. Indeed, it has long since been argued by many that anything not legal should be taken out of the will and instead set out in a letter of wishes. For example, funeral arrangements were often included in the body of a normal will. The trouble with that is that if your wishes change, you have to update the whole will. Whereas if you include guidance around your funeral in your letter of wishes, if your funeral arrangements change, you just update the letter of wishes, and don’t have the formality or expense of updating your will.
What should I include in my Digital Will?
Unless you are a content creator, your ‘digital estate’ is likely to have a sentimental rather than monetary. And, by making a digital will you are looking to leave the information for family, friends, or your estate executors to also be able to deal with your digital estate.
That information is essentially (a) how to get access, and (b) what you would then like to happen to each profile/online account. As we all well know, our log in details to only profiles and accounts can change often. And that’s really at the nub of why it would be a nonsense to try to deal with this in a traditional/normal will. But, by having an informal digital will, you can easily keep that updated, and do so without the formality of cost of constantly changing your ‘normal will’.
There is no specified layout or execution for a digital will. The spirit of it is to simply give access to those who need it to do whatever you would like with your social media accounts on death.
Dealing with other social media accounts
Read more about what needs to/can happen to happen by clicking on each one below:
- Facebook – they do provide facility for memorialising the profile, as well as nominating a legacy contact during your lifetime.
- Twitter/X – there is no option to memorialise the profile, just close it.
- Snapchat – there is no option to memorialise the profile, just close it.
- Instagram – they do provide facility for memorialising the profile.
- Pinterest – there is no option to memorialise the profile, just close it.
- YouTube – there is no opportunity to memorialise the profile.
Expert Probate Solicitors
This is a fast moving area of the ‘probate’ scene, and one which we will continue to monitor, and comment on. Meantime, we hope you found this guide helpful. And do please remember, it is just that – a guide. It is not intended to be given as specific legal advice, nor should it (or any comments left) be taken as such. If however you would like advice from our expert probate solicitors – do reach out! You can leave a comment below, call, or email us. We’d love to hear from you!
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