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What to Do With a Twitter Account After Someone Passes [Series]

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what_to_do_with_twitter_feedThe following is the second post in our series about what to do with a social media account after a death. Read our first post on how to handle a Facebook profile.

With upwards of 125 decisions to make following a death, handling your loved one’s financial accounts and social profiles is probably not your first thought, but it’s an important step in carrying out end-of-life plans.

Most social platforms, like Twitter, require an authorized family member to verify the death. From there, they work with you to delete or deactivate the profile if you wish to do so.

With any account or profile, it’s important for you and your family to review the policies before taking action, as there may be photos or posts you want to save.

For more information on what you can do with a Twitter account after a death, continue reading below.

Request to Remove the Account

In the event of a death, an authorized or verified family member can request the removal of a deceased user’s account.

After submitting a request, Twitter will email you with instructions for providing more details. The following information is required:

  • The username of the deceased’s Twitter account.
  • A copy of the death certificate.
  • A copy of your government-issued ID. 

You’ll also be asked to provide a signed statement, including your:

  • First and last name.
  • Email address.
  • Current contact information.
  • Your relationship to the deceased user or their estate.
  • Action requested (i.e. please remove the Twitter account).
  • A brief description of the details that evidence the account belongs to the deceased, if the name on the account does not match the name on the death certificate.
  • A link to an online obituary or a copy of the obituary from a local newspaper (optional).

This is a necessary step to prevent unauthorized reports.

It’s important to note that Twitter is not able to provide account access to anyone regardless of his or her relationship with the person who passed.

Request to Deactivate the Account

In the event a Twitter user is incapacitated due to medical reasons, Twitter can also work with an authorized person to act on behalf of the user to have an account deactivated.

After you submit your request, Twitter will email you with instructions for providing details. These include:

  • Information about the user.
  • A copy of your ID.
  • A copy of the account holder's ID.
  • A copy of the Power of Attorney authorizing you to act on the account holder's behalf.

This information remains confidential and is deleted once reviewed.

Depend on Twitter's Inactive Policy to Delete the Account

If you don’t want to take the steps above, you can depend on Twitter’s inactive policy to delete your loved one’s account over time.  

Twitter deletes accounts after six months of prolonged inactivity. Inactivity is based on logging in to the account, and liking and tweeting other posts.

You may not be able to tell whether an account is currently inactive, as not all signs of account activity are publicly visible. For instance, this doesn’t stop people from interacting with the person who passed through likes, retweets and more. So even though you are not posting from their account, you may still see activity from other followers.

Plan Ahead for Your Family

Organizing financial accounts and social profiles is just one part of the preplanning process, as it prevents sudden financial burdens and stressful decisions for your family after you pass. To learn more about the benefits of preplanning, download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements to learn how preplanning can save you and your family time, money and worry.

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