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Four months after he passed away, fans of Robin Williams can still connect with him on Facebook to show their sympathy for his family. However, when most people pass away their friends may not be able to do something similar on their Facebook pages.


As reported by The Ledger, in an article titled “Access Bill: Clarify Online Life After Death,” if you search for Robin Williams on Facebook, you will be able to connect with him. That might seem strange as Williams passed away several months ago.

However, it appears that someone else had access to Williams’ account when he passed away and has left the page open for fans to express sympathy for Williams’ family and pay tribute to Williams himself.

Most people, however, do not share their Facebook passwords with other people.

When they pass away, their families have a difficult time accessing the accounts.

Under current privacy laws and Facebook policies, no one can access the account without prior approval of the account holder. The obvious problem is that if the account holder has passed away, approval to access the account cannot be given.

Many states are attempting to change laws to allow access to digital accounts after the owner has passed away. However, changing laws is often a slow process.

Until the laws in your state do change, it is important to plan for what will happen to your Facebook page and other digital accounts after you pass away.

Please contact our office today at 239-225-7911 to schedule an appointment with Barbara M. Pizzolato if you are interested in protecting your legacy and need to create or update your estate plan. You may also wish to attend one of our free seminars.

Reference: The Ledger (December 13, 2014) “Access Bill: Clarify Online Life After Death