Group Proposes Plan For Social Media Accounts After Death - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Group Proposes Plan For Social Media Accounts After Death

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Who controls your social media accounts, when you die?

It’s something many people may not think about, when using websites such as Facebook and Twitter, however, a new proposal may put the power of your profile in to the hands of loved ones.

This week, The Uniform Law Commission voiced support for a plan to give grieving families access to all digital accounts, unless the deceased gave prior specifications.

“Social media has changed the law field in a lot of ways,” said Edward Segelken, attorney and partner at Columbus-based Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP.  “This may be one of the last things to get affected by it.”

Segelken notes that he has heard of some social media users, giving their online rights to family members, in their wills.

While he has not had any clients ask for that specifically, he believes the trend may pick up momentum.

“They (clients) are going to read articles, they’re going to see stories like this one and they’re going to decide, ‘hey, maybe I ought to worry about that,’” he said.

One Centerburg woman said she is tired of seeing her deceased friends’ profiles on Facebook.

“It’s haunting,” said Rita Carpenter. “It startles me.”

She supports the proposal, from The Uniform Law Commission. Additionally, she has a plan for her account, when she passes away.

“My family will know what my password is,” she said. “I don’t want people to keep seeing my name on there.”

If the proposal is passed in to law, every state would be required to individually adopt it.

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