Who inherits your Facebook when you die?

July 13, 2017 by

Who inherits your Facebook when you die?

Read the entire article here. Dominion Post 10 April 2016.

Wellington lawyer Bianca Mueller urges clients to consider whether records stored behind passwords to their laptops, online bank accounts and emails might contain valuable information.IT law

Facebook Twitter and Instagram posts are all part of a private or professional persona online. But what happens to the numerous legal relationships with social media, email and Cloud storage providers and the associated data once a user dies? While the need for estate planning is well known, it’s surprising how little attention has so far been given to what happens to all of our digital assets when we die.

There are also emotional considerations at play: people’s photos stored only in computer files, or the prospect of Facebook sending out a reminder notifying friends to wish you a happy birthday after you’re gone, which Bianca Mueller said might be “quite disturbing” for mourners.

Last year Facebook introduced the option to assign a legacy contact to users’ account, which means you can choose a friend or family member to access your account on your behalf.

Wellington lawyer Bianca Mueller, originally from Germany, said her overseas clients had often raised the question of how to make their digital estate inheritable, whereas New Zealanders were only slowly catching on.

“It’s sort of uncharted territory, both from a practical perspective and from a point of law”. One of the biggest challenges was keeping digital security records up to date, Mueller said.