Managing Your Social Media After Death: Twitter, Google & Instagram

Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own. But making plans for what happens after you’re gone is really important for the people you leave behind. We recently wrote about new features that Facebook instituted to help you manage your account after your death. With every day, every year that passes, it is becoming more and more of a requirement to have a “social media will” or at least have your Estate Planning docs cover this part of your life. There are some things that by its very nature will make it very hard to manage. For instance, how often do you add or delete accounts? Change passwords? Keeping it current is a challenge of its own. Not to mention that if you leave your social media information as part of a will, it becomes public information, and you might want to keep it private, even after you die. So here is the latest in managing some of your other major social media accounts:


How To Delete An Account With Email/User Name and Password:

  1. Log in to Twitter from a desktop or mobile browser.
  2. Click the gear icon at the upper right and select “Settings.”
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Deactivate my account.”
  4. Read the account deactivation information, then click “Okay, fine, deactivate account.”
  5. Enter password.

The account will officially be deleted 30 days after the request, during which time the account can be reactivated by logging in.

How To Deactivate Or Delete A Twitter Account If You Don’t Have The Required Information Listed Above

According to Twitter’s Help Section:

In the event of the death of a Twitter user, we can work with a person authorized to act on the behalf of the estate or with a verified immediate family member of the deceased to have an account deactivated.” The following information is required:

The username of the deceased user’s Twitter account (e.g., @username or

A copy of the deceased user’s death certificate

A copy of your government-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license)

A signed statement including:

Your first and last name

Your email address

Your current contact information

Your relationship to the deceased user or their estate

Action requested (e.g., ‘please deactivate the Twitter account’)

A brief description of the details that evidence this account belongs to the deceased, if the name on the account does not match the name on death certificate.

A link to an online obituary or a copy of the obituary from a local newspaper (optional)

Please send us the documentation by fax or mail to the following address:

Twitter, Inc.
c/o: Trust & Safety
1355 Market St., Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Fax : 1-415-865-5405

Note: This is a United States number, so please be sure to include the appropriate international dialing code if you’re sending from outside the United States.

We conduct all of our communication via email; should we require any other information, we will contact you at the email address you have provided in your request. If you have any questions, you can contact us at:

Please note: We are unable to provide account access to anyone regardless of his or her relationship to the deceased.



Google has now rolled its Inactive Account Manager Tool. With the tool, you set an amount of time you want Google to wait before taking action (3, 6, 9 months, or a year). One month before that deadline, if Google hasn’t heard from you, it will send you an alert by either email or text message. If that month closes out and you still have not re-entered your account, Google will notify your “trusted contacts” — you can list up to 10 — and share your data with them if you like.

Alternatively, you can set up the manager to outright delete your account without sharing it at that time. This includes all data associated with the account — Blogger posts, uploaded YouTube videos, Picasa albums, Google Voice messages, etc. (This goes without saying, but the tool will only help with your Google accounts.

Google says on it blog that it “hopes that this new feature will enable you to plan your digital afterlife — in a way that protects your privacy and security — and make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone.”


How do you report a deceased person’s account on Instagram? You have a couple of choices. 1. You can report an account for Memorialization or Removal if you are immediate family. Here is what to do straight from Instagram:

Memorializing the account:

Instagram memorializes the Instagram account of a deceased person when it receives a valid request. It drys to prevent references to memorialized accounts from appearing on Instagram in ways that may be upsetting to the person’s friends and family, and we also take measures to protect the privacy of the deceased person by securing the account.

To report an account to be memorialized, please contact us. We require proof of death, such as a link to an obituary or news article, to memorialize an account. Please keep in mind that we can’t provide login information for a memorialized account. It’s always against our policies for someone to log into another person’s account.

Removing the account:

Verified immediate family members may request the removal of a loved one’s account from Instagram. When you submit a request for removal, we require proof that you’re an immediate family member of the deceased person, such as:

The deceased person’s birth certificate

The deceased person’s death certificate

Proof of authority under local law that you are the lawful representative of the deceased person, or his/her estate

To request that an account be removed, please fill out this form.