If you’ve been named executor in a loved one’s Will, it’s important to understand how to close online accounts when someone dies. This includes both online and offline accounts, and will protect against fraud or identity theft.
Bank accounts, online shopping, streaming, social media – figuring out how to close accounts when someone dies can seem overwhelming. Many organisations have similar thoughts on how to close accounts when someone dies; the most important being that you have authority to do so as named executor of their will.
Start with your loved one’s financial affairs; bank accounts, credit cards and store cards. A credit report will detail the accounts your loved one had, and any outstanding debts requiring payment. Next, contact the bank or card issuer – you will normally have to provide details of the accounts you want closed, and a copy of the death certificate. Unless a bank account is in a joint name, you may need a Grant of Probate to close accounts and release funds.
Online shopping and streaming accounts – Amazon, eBay, Netflix etc. – also need to be closed by contacting customer services and providing information about the deceased along with a copy of their death certificate.
Social media accounts may not seem as pressing, and how to close accounts when someone dies are a little different. You could simply deactivate the account, but Facebook and Instagram, for example, give you the option to name legacy contacts who can memorialize the account, meaning it can still be viewed, but no longer accessible to edit.
The practicalities of how to close accounts when someone dies involve gathering lots of information. You can help your loved ones navigate this minefield by leaving all the necessary details along with your funeral plan.
Traditionally, a funeral plan allows you to arrange and pay for your funeral in advance, but you also have the opportunity to leave instructions about what to do with online, offline and social media accounts upon death.