What Happens to Facebook & Twitter Accounts When Someone Dies?

What Happens When Someone Dies?

What Happens When Someone Dies?

It is a fact that we’re all going to die, and if you’re on social media sites like Facebook and/or Twitter, you may be curious as to what will happen to your account when you’re gone.  You can express how you would like your account handled by preparing letters of
instruction.

Each social network has their own process and options to handle the profiles and accounts of the deceased.   We are going to cover Facebook and Twitter in this post so continue below to learn more about each site’s policy.

What Happens to Your Facebook When You Die?

What Happens to Your Facebook Profile When You Die?

Facebook

The process for a deceased person’s Facebook account has several different options and is different then many other social media services.  First, Facebook utilizes an online form that allows anyone to notify Facebook about a deceased user by submitting a valid request electronically.  Facebook will then memorialize the account, which means that nobody will be able to log into the account and only confirmed friends at the time of memorializing will be able to see the profile of the deceased.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook allows the confirmed friends to post information and photos on the wall of the deceased, and many people use this as a way to share their thoughts and feelings as well as celebrating the life of the deceased.

In the alternative, Facebook also allows an immediate family member to request that the deceased’s account be completely removed from the site.  In order to do this, Facebook requires that you verify your identity and relationship to the deceased by providing the deceased’s birth and death certificate and proof that you’re a lawful representative of the deceased.

GET A FACEBOOK LETTER OF INSTRUCTION

Do you have a Twitter Letter of Instruction?

Do you have a Twitter Letter of Instruction?

Twitter

When someone dies, it is the responsibility of a family member or person in charge of the deceased’s estate to reach out to Twitter administration and let them know. Along with the information, Twitter will need this individual to provide them with the username of the deceased, a copy of the individual’s ID, a copy of the deceased’s death certificate, and a letter that contains information about the person making the request.  Twitter does  not have an online form and requires requests to be submitted via fax or mail.

This person has the ability to decide whether they want the deceased’s account completely deleted from the site or if they want a backup created of the deceased’s public tweets.

Once Twitter has been notified, the deceased’s account will no longer be found in the Who to Follow section and messages will not be accepted on the page. If a person wants to leave a tweet for a deceased individual, they will have to have login information for the deceased’s account.

GET A TWITTER LETTER OF INSTRUCTION

In the United States approximately 80% of population has not taken the time to prepare any written plans and instructions in the event of death.  It is not a pleasant topic for most people, and pondering what will happen to your social media accounts when you pass is not something that many people think about on a typical day.   By preparing simple letters of instruction for your Facebook and Twitter accounts you ease the burden on those you care about after you die, because they will need this information and will have it neatly compiled and documented.  It’s also a good idea to share the existence of these instructions and how to locate them when necessary with friends and family members so that everyone knows about your wishes.

If someone you love has passed away and they have a Facebook and/or Twitter account, make sure that you let the social networks know as soon as possible so that the proper steps can be taken and their wishes carried out.

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A Parable About a Family Business – Pt. I

family-business

It all started out as an idea….

In the beginning there was a great business idea.  When the business started out it was small.  The owner was determined, diligent and talented.  The business grew.

After some time it was a much larger business and had many employees under its roof.    The owner’s children were now grown and some decided to work in the business.  The other children did not, choosing to find their own paths in life.

Soon there were issues, mainly disagreements over what to do with the profits.  The inactive owners wanted to be paid dividends… now!  The active owners saw the need to reinvest profits back into the business for future growth.

The founder was ready to retire.  But there was little savings or liquidity outside the business.  The founder wanted to be conservative and protect the cash flow for himself.  The sons and daughters working in the business wanted to be more aggressive and grow the business to remain competitive.

There was no way for the inactive owners to sell their ownership.  They wanted high dividends to make up for the lack of liquidity.

Without warning one of the owners died suddenly from a unforeseen medical condition.  The owner’s grieving spouse wanted to be bought out immediately.  The business had to borrow money from the bank to repurchase the outstanding shares.

The tensions of keeping the business afloat continued to increase and one of the owners kept bringing the stress home.  Soon there was a divorce.  This event caused a small financial emergency for the business.  Soon there was a demand for more money.  A loan was made to the divorced owner.

Another owner had a gambling problem.  But it was discovered and addressed too late; there were too many credit card bills.  A bankruptcy was filed.  More money was need.  Another loan was made.

The family members stopped taking to each other; there were too many hurt feelings and too much mistrust.

The inactive owners still wanted their dividends, now!  They didn’t understand the internal operations of the business.  No one had explained to them the need to leave the money in the business for it to be competitive in the market.

The founder had never decided who was going to take his place.  It was left up to a committee when he died.  The estate tax bill arrived in the mail.  There had been no planning.  There was no cash or lines of credit available.

There was an auction.  The assets were sold.  The business is gone.  The End.

This is a sad, sad story.  But unfortunately it happens… over and over again.  Does any of this story sound similar or familiar to events or conditions within your family business?  Please don’t let this happen to your family.  We have many tools and procedures to prevent this parable’s effect taking hold within your family business.

*****

Donald L. West, Jr., JD, CTLP,  serves as the Associate Director of Education to the Legacy Institute, is a Chartered Legacy & Trusts Planner, a Personne De Confiance, the Creator of the Legacy Pyramid and co-author of A Step-By-Step Guide To Crafting Personal Legacy Statements.

The Legacy Institute, (A.I.L.E.P.), is an organization devoted to empowering families and closely-held business entities cultivate multi-generational connectedness, growth and prosperity.

What is a Family of Affinity?

Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations

is the American version of a Lancashire proverb, “there’s nobbut three generations atween a clog and clog.

Many have attributed Andrew Carnegie, the famed 19th century industrialist from Scottland, with bringing the proverb’s message to America. Investigation shows that the adage is ancient and not unique to any one country or culture. In Italian it is “dalle stalle alle stelle alle stalle” (“from stalls to stars to stalls”). The Spanish say, “quien no lo tiene, lo hance; y quien lo tiene, lo deshance” (“who doesn’t have it, does it, and who has it, misuses it”). Even non-western cultures, including the Chinese, have a similar proverb, “rice paddy to rice paddy.” Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves is a proverb that describes human behavior’s natural tendency in terms of creating long-term families as financial failures.

Working_in_the_rice_paddy

The theory of the proverb is that the first generation starts of in a rice paddy, meaning that two people with an affinity for one another came together and worked from the bottom to create a financial fortune.  The original generation usually builds their wealth without making significant changes to their values, customs or lifestyle.  The second generation moves to the city, embraces the hottest fashions, patronizes the opera, runs large organizations and the fortune plateaus.  The third generation, with no experience in building or maintaining wealth, consumes the financial fortune, and the fourth generation goes back to the rice paddy.  This is the classic formulation of the shirtsleeves proverb, which remains as true today as it has proven to be throughout documented human history.

When considering long-term legacy planning, what is often referred to as seventh-generational thinking comes into play.  Seventh generational thinking can be illustrated by an antidote from an old Iroquois tribal elder, who begins the tribal council meeting by saying,

“Let us begin our work here today with the hope that the decisions we make will be honored by our tribal members seven generations from today.”

James E. Hughes, Jr., an attorney, author and multi-generational family advisor, defines a family as two or more people who by either genetic lineage or bonds of affinity consider themselves related to each other.  The core of his philosophy is the belief that a family that sees itself as linked not only by blood but by affinity and acts from that philosophical base has the greatest chance of successfully enhancing the individual development and growth of its members and thus of dynamically preserving the family as a whole for at least five generations.  A family of affinity maintains open systems that welcome new members, giving the family a better chance of survival.  These outsiders represent the new energy the family needs to overcome what it will lose through natural attrition.

Note that Attorney Hughes suggest that relying solely on the biological constituents of a family will lead to attrition and a weakening of the family unit and wealth over time.  Creating an open-source family unit enthusiastically embracing new members through marriage and other bonds of affinity are vital.  When counting a family’s assets they are represented by the individual members of the family of affinity:

  • The family’s human capital
  • The family’s intellectual capital
  • The family’s financial capital
  • The family’s social capital

A family with long-term seventh generational thinking will have a 100-Year Plan to manage and capitalize on the family’s core assets listed above.

If you feel your family is a family of affinity:

Have you crafted a written Family Mission Statement as the guiding expression of the vision, values and goals of the family? and

Have you embraced seventh-generational thinking and begun to work on a 100-Year Plan?

*****

Donald L. West, Jr., JD, CTLP,  serves as the Associate Director of Education to the Legacy Institute, is a Chartered Legacy & Trusts Planner, a Personne De Confiance, the Creator of the Legacy Pyramid and co-author of A Step-By-Step Guide To Crafting Personal Legacy Statements.

The Legacy Institute, (A.I.L.E.P.), is an organization devoted to empowering families and closely-held business entities cultivate multi-generational connectedness, growth and prosperity.

What Does Legacy Mean? Peyton Manning says he doesn’t really know.

Peyton Manning says he doesn’t know what Legacy means, do you?

At the NFL’s 2014 Media Day for Super Bowl XLVIII the Denver Broncos record-setting
quarterback was asked about his legacy, which he basically declined to speak about.

I’ve been asked about my legacy since I was about 25 years old, which I’m not sure you can have a legacy when you’re 25 years old or even 37,” Manning said.  “I thought you had to be like 70 to have a legacy.  I’m not 100 percent sure what the word even means.”

Below you can actually take a look for yourself if you did not see the actual interview:

So here is the actual dictionary definitionLegacy – noun:  something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.

According to the renowned psychotherapist Erik K. Erickson, Peyton Manning is normal and just like almost every other person when it comes to the timing and age of internalizing and understanding our legacy and our connection to those who will come behind us.

Erikson who is most famous for coining the phrase “Identity Crisis” also gave us the term “Generativity” as the 7th of 8 Stages of Human Development Generativity vs. Stagnation which occurs between the ages of 35-64.

Generativity is the ability to generate anything tangible that will exist beyond one’s earthly life; particularly when exhibiting a need to nurture and guide younger people and contribute to the next generation.  The adult stage of generativity has broad application to family, relationships, work, and society.  Eriskson said, “Generativity, then is primarily the concern in establishing and guiding the next generation… the concept is meant to include… productivity and creativity.”

There are five primary categories of Generativity, they are:

1) Biological – the act of making a child;

2) Parental – the act of raising a child;

3) Technical – the creation of tangible works that will maintain an existence beyond your life, (i.e., paintings, writings, or a business organization);

4) Cultural – the creational of a meaning belief or value system that is passed on to others; and,

5) Societal – the ability to create societal change and/or reform, (i.e., Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., et. al.).

Now we have covered Legacy and thrown in Generativety as a bonus, which begs the question, “What is Your Legacy?”

What is an Estate?

Everything you own constitutes your estate.

Everything you own constitutes your estate.

There is a common misbelief that “estates” are something that only the rich and famous possess. This misconception is possible because most people have no idea what constitutes an estate to begin with. On TV and in the movies the term estate is only used to describe or reference the rich and the wealthy, often describing huge lavish property and elegant decorations. In fact, any property, no matter how small or large, humble or extravagant is part of an estate. Land, condos, duplexes, townhomes, apartments and the single family home all make up people’s estates.

Simply put, an estate is everything that a person owns. It includes your favorite guitar, your collection of family photographs, your residence, cash, stocks, bonds, and other investments, retirement plans and businesses you own. If you are a creator, your estate includes all your works, including your paintings, drawings, prints, manuscripts, copyrights, trademarks and patents. For estate tax purposes, your estate also includes all life insurance policies in your name as well as your IRA’s or other retirement accounts. So again, your estate includes everything that you own, this includes all of your personal property, such as vehicles, jewelry, collectables and other treasured items.

Your estate is everything that you own. You own things, so congratulations… you have an estate.

*****

Donald L. West, Jr., JD, CTLP,  serves as the Associate Director of Education to the Legacy Institute, is a Chartered Legacy & Trusts Planner, a Personne De Confiance, the Creator of the Legacy Pyramid and co-author of A Step-By-Step Guide To Crafting Personal Legacy Statements.

The Legacy Institute, (A.I.L.E.P.), is an organization devoted to empowering families and closely-held business entities cultivate multi-generational connectedness, growth and prosperity.

5 Tips for Donors to Non-Profit Organizations – Due Diligence of a 501(C)3 Organization

Most of us value our money, due in no small part to the understanding of what was done to earn it. Yet when it comes to giving our money away to charitable organizations even the wealthiest and most generous donors among us often fail to apply the same level of due diligence typically applied on a routine basis to most business transactions. Acknowledging this fact in an article for Forbes.com, Betsy Brill, a planned-giving consultant, noted:

Over two-thirds of wealthy households surveyed for Bank of America’s 2010 study of high net worth philanthropy reported that they give to organizations when they believe their gift will make a difference and when they know the organization is efficient in its use of donations. However, a much smaller percentage of donors actually conduct the extensive research necessary to accurately make these determinations. For example, another 2010 donor survey–this one by nonprofit consultancy Russ Reid–showed that only one-third of donors actually talked to an organization’s staff before making a gift, and only one-quarter visited the organization in person or reviewed its annual report.

The non-profit sector has been impacted by the downturned global economy and despite heavy regulation and oversight; scandals and abuses grab headlines regularly making it incumbent upon the fiscally wise donor to follow these five best practice tips when vetting your next philanthropic beneficiary. There are lots of choices out there for most causes and new organizations are being formed every day. Making use of these five tips will place you among the philanthropic elite, those who are confident that they are investing and partnering with organizations that are effectively governed, transparent, accountable, fiscally responsible and aligned with their core values.

1 – Evaluate the Organization’s Mission. Every charitable organization has a mission and purpose for its existence. A large number of donors have expressed a strong preference for giving to causes that they themselves have an interest in or passion for. The logical first step is to review the mission and purpose of the organization you are considering or seeking one whose mission matches your interest(s) and passion(s).

2 – Review the programs and services the organization provides. It is important to see if the services and programs align with the organizations mission. Some donors may be interested in the types of programs and services offered. Ask if there are any tools in place to measure programming effectiveness or impact and request to see the most recent results. An actual on-site visit provides an opportunity to meet and observe the administrative staff and effectiveness of the programs and services.

3 – Confirm the Organizations Tax Exempt Status. If your donation is somehow connected or motivated by the tax benefit of a deductible gift you are advised to confirm the active status of the organization’s IRS Tax Exempt Status. For the IRS they have a public search portal located at:  http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/.

4 – Review the Organization’s Annual Report. A great deal of insight and information may be gained from the annual report. Prior to making any significant securities acquisition the prudent investor typically reviews the annual report of the company in question evaluating certain indicators. Why then should we treat our philanthropic investments and partnerships any differently? Ask the organization for last year’s annual report or ask for the last couple of years for your review. There should be a goldmine of information regarding the organization’s operations, achievements and activities.

5 – Review the Organization’s most recent Form 990. Every tax-exempt organization is required to file a Form 990 annually with the IRS. The Form 990 contains all the information that the IRS requires and provides a quick snapshot of the organization’s full operation. When reviewed in conjunction to the annual report a well-rounded understanding may be developed of the operational structure, financial health and the programming activities of your targeted non-profit.

If an organization’s use of funds is an issue or concern for you and your gift, you may desire to add a review of the organization’s last Financial Audit. It will deliver a more complete picture and share a more precise insight into the financial operations of the organization. Lastly, if you are considering more than a simple one time gift and are truly seeking to build a long-term relationship with an organization ask if there is a strategic plan and a fundraising plan, and if you may review them. You may also seek to review the organization’s investment policy to insure the long term vision and strategies align with meaning and purposes of your gift.

Legacy & Genealogy Resource- Arlington National Cemetery Launches Burial Database

Arlington National Cemetery has unveiled a public database of the 400,000 burials there. Called ANC Explorer, the database is available online and as a Mobile app. You can search it to locate gravesites on a map; get details including birth, death and interment dates, and branch of service; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument (where available); and get directions to those gravesites. Source: http://blog.familytreemagazine.com/insider/2012/10/23/ArlingtonNationalCemeteryLaunchesBurialDatabase.aspx