It is most critical for you to include, within the terms of your estate planning documents, provisions that provide your designated fiduciary with the authority to manage your accounts, including online accounts, during your incapacity or following your death. In the case of the each of the financial institutions listed below, each company will respect the authority you provide to your designated agent to gain access to your accounts following your death.
You should provide your desired and appointed “legal fiduciary” (that is, your Trustee, Personal Representative and Power of Attorney) with the contact information for any financial professional with whom you work regularly at a financial institution, such as your personal banker and your financial advisor. You might also inform your financial professionals with the contact information of your named fiduciary or fiduciaries.
UBS Financial, U.S. Bank, LPL, Ameriprise, TCF/Huntington, Wells Fargo will all respect the authority of your fiduciaries designated under your documents.
RBC: RBC will respect the authority of your fiduciaries designated under your documents. Additionally, your fiduciary can register online, during your lifetime, as a separate online user with a separate user profile. Clients can then complete a user agreement providing your fiduciary access with privacy options dictated by you.
PayPal: Only if you have a business account with PayPal is it possible to authorize another user to view your transactions during lifetime. Otherwise, all individual accounts must simply be closed by your appointed fiduciary following death. You can find more information here.
Facebook: Facebook allows users two options:
- Users can designate a “legacy contact.” A legacy contact can manage your FB account after it’s been “memorialized.” The word “Remembering” will be shown next to the person’s name on their profile.
- Users can also choose to have their account permanently deleted upon their passing.
Submit a request to have the deceased user’s account deleted or memorialized
Reddit: You will need to create your own Reddit account to message the moderators of the site for a username to be deleted. I recommend that you attach an online obituary or other evidence that the user has died.
Tumblr: Send an email to email@example.com requesting to remove the account of the deceased user. Include their username, proof of their death, and proof of your relationship to the deceased.
Pinterest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the deceased user’s account username, obituary of deceased (or death certificate with the Social Security Number redacted), and proof of your relationship to the deceased user.
Snapchat: To close the account, complete this form.
Google: Google allows you to designate individuals who will automatically be notified when your account has been inactive for a set length of time (such time set by the user). The user can specify how long the account should remain online and exactly what data is to be shared. Inactive Account Manager is the best way to let them know who should have access to the information, and whether the account should be deleted upon your death. More information can be found here.
YouTube: Since Google has bought out YouTube, you can also set up an Inactive Account Manager on your YouTube channel as well. If no manager is set up at the time of your death, your fiduciaries will need to submit a request here to have the account closed, funds released or obtain data from the account.
Amazon: If you have set up an Amazon Household Account, which allows you to share benefits with other adults or children, you will need to remove the decedent from your Amazon Household as follows:
- Go to Manage Your Household.
- Under the adult avatars, select Removebelow the name of the person you want to remove.
If you have an Amazon Prime Account, and wish to close it, you will need to send an email to email@example.com. To make it as easy as possible for you, a sample letter follows.
Dear Amazon Customer Support,
[Your Loved One], an Amazon customer, recently passed away and we need to
cancel their Amazon account, effective immediately. The required information is
➔ Account holder’s name, phone number, email, and billing address.
➔ My name, email and phone number
Per your request, I am also attaching a copy of their death certificate [redact the social security number]. It would be greatly appreciated if you can confirm when this action is completed.
Thanks for your help in this important matter,
Etsy: If you have the deceased account owner’s username and password, you will be able to close the shop by logging in and following these steps:
- On com, click Shop Manager.
- Click Settingsand select Options.
- Click the Close Shop
- Click Close Shop.
If you do not have the username and password, you will need to follow the steps found here.
Ebay: If you have the deceased account owner’s username and password, you can simply log in to eBay at the company’s account closure page. More information here.
If you do not have that information, you can contact Ebay here to request that the account be closed. They will request a death certificate, most likely, as well as potentially other documentation. The deletion process may not be able to move forward until all sales resolve, but eBay can help you work out what the best path forward would be for the particular account in question.
Costco: The easiest way to cancel the deceased owner’s Costco membership is to visit the closest Costco store with the membership card or the Costco Citibank Visa card and a copy of the death certificate. Do not cancel the Visa card until any membership dues are refunded to the card.
PHOTOS, MUSIC, MOVIES AND MEDIA
Apple: During your lifetime, your photos and music collections can be “tied” to the accounts of other family members and accessible to up to four family members through a “Family Sharing” arrangement. Following your death, your surviving family members should have access to “Family-Shared” Photo Albums. Please note, however, that following your death, under the terms of service agreement, your loved ones do not have the legal right to receive your music and movies. In other words, your purchased items cannot be transferred to family members following death.
If you do not have access to the accounts through a Family Sharing arrangement, it will be necessary for your family to obtain a court order following your death. Here is the link for further information: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208510
With regard to your Apple profile, we recommend that (1) you keep good records of your username and password that are accessible to a trusted third party, (2) you include authorization within your estate planning documents for your agent to access information saved on Apple, but (3) recognize that, at your death, it is likely that your movie and music inventory will no longer be available to your family without a court order.
iTunes: See Apple above.
Netflix: If you have access to the account, click the Cancel Membership link on the Account page.
If you don’t have access to the account, contact Netflix here, after obtaining the email address or phone number associated with the Netflix account, and the payment information currently used to pay for Netflix.
Hulu: If you know your loved one had Hulu but you do not have credentials to open the account, you’ll need to contact support with evidence of your role in the estate. You may need to provide a scan or copy of the death certificate to initiate the cancellation and deletion of the account. Contacting Hulu Support is the first step.
Disney+ If you have the account owner’s username and password you can go to http://www.disneyplus.com to log in and follow these steps:
- Select their Profile
- Select Account
- Select Cancel Subscription
- Select Complete Cancellation to confirm
If you don’t have their login information, you can contact Disney+ by calling 888-905-7888 or through the chat option found at the bottom of this page.
If they subscribed to Disney+ via an Apple or Android App, you must cancel directly with those providers. Please follow the links below for further instructions:
- Cancel Disney+ on the Roku Channel store
- Cancel Disney+ on the iTunes store
- Cancel Disney+ on Google Play store
- Cancel Disney+ through Amazon
Roku: If you have access to the Roku device, you may unsubscribe the channels from their TV or online account by following these steps:
- Press the Home button on the Roku remote.
- Highlight the channel you wish to cancel using the directional pad in the center of the Roku remote.
- Press the Star button * on Roku remote on the remote to open the options menu.
- Select Manage subscription to view the renewal date and access additional options.
- To unsubscribe, select Cancel subscription. A message will appear confirming the duration of continued access, content, and services.
- When prompted, select Cancel subscription. Roku will display a message confirming the cancellation and your last day of access.
- Select Done.
Otherwise, you will need to contact Roku: https://support.roku.com/contactus