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New Year’s Resolutions

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we often focus on short-term goals, and sometimes even trivial changes to our lives. This year, we suggest perhaps you think about making positive steps towards things that can have lasting impact not only for you, but also for the people you care about most.

It may seem an odd resolution by most standards, but by committing to making pre-need arrangements, you are making one that is at once self-less and bold. Life is very precious, and unfortunately, even with the best practices, at some point (hopefully in the very distant future), each must come to an end. Making the resolution to relieve your family of some of the burden in the future is perhaps the most meaningful thing you can do for yourself and your family.

So this year, why not make a New Year’s resolution that you can keep? It might just be the most important one you make.

Coping with death around the holidays

If you have lost someone close to you during this past year, you may find yourself having difficulty getting into the “holiday spirit”. We hope this will help you find peace and comfort, and helps you cope this holiday season.

More than ever, you will probably find yourself missing your loved one during this time of year. Please remember that it is okay to allow yourself the emotions you are feeling. Allow yourself to cry, but then make sure to find time to do activities that make you comfortable, such as reading a book, meditating or exercising.

Finding ways to commemorate your loved one is an excellent way to help yourself through the holidays as well. You can do this in many ways, such as visiting places you did in the past with them, or talking about wonderful memories you had with others who were close to him or her.

Please accept help from others. Your friends and family may not know what to do or say, but they may help in other ways, such as assisting you with sending cards, cleaning your home or possibly even cooking Christmas dinner. It is important that you allow them to, as the extra stress from the holidays can become overwhelming when you are already grieving a loss. Also, it will help them cope as well, as helping you through the holidays will give them a sense of involvement in your life in a time when they are at a loss when it comes to being able to make things better for you.

And lastly, remember that it is okay to celebrate, even though you are grieving. Most likely, your loved one would want you to be enjoying yourself, focusing on the good and happy times you have spent in the past and will spend in the future.

We hope to have helped you make the season a bit easier for you. We wish you warmth and comfort this holiday season.

Online & Social Media Accounts Upon Death

The internet has become the place for social interaction, purchasing and online banking. With all of these online accounts, it raises an important question, what happens to accounts when an individual dies?

Most financial accounts and bank accounts are either closed when the account is closed, or access is granted to the deceased’s executor.

Email accounts are regulated by each service provider’s own policies. For example, Yahoo! Mail does not grant access to anyone, unless it is court ordered. While Gmail and Hotmail will grant access to their email accounts upon proof that you are authorized to access the accounts of the deceased.

Social media also comes with their own regulations. Facebook, for example, does not grant access to a deceased person’s account. But instead has a memorial status for the account of a deceased person. The memorial page can be customized by close relatives upon approval by Facebook, but certain features like joining groups and posting status updates are disabled in this state. Should the family wish to have the page taken down and the account deleted, a copy of the death certificate as well as a request form is required. If you’d like to learn more about how FaceBook handles accounts for deceased individuals, please visit their page directly: http://www.facebook.com/blog.php?post=163091042130.

Twitter assists families in saving a backup of their public Tweets and then closes the deceased person’s account. Basic information such as the deceased’s username and proof of death are required by Twitter. For more on Twitter’s process, please visit their page directly: http://support.twitter.com/articles/87894-how-to-contact-twitter-about-a-deceased-user.

LinkedIn has a “Verification of Death Form” that must be completed, which requires the email address associated with the user’s account. Upon verification of death, LinkedIn will remove the account.

YouTube also has a form that can be used to grant access to a deceased user’s account. They require the account name, death certificate, and a document with power of attorney over the YouTube account. Or if you are the parent of the user, a birth certificate may be supplied in lieu of the power of attorney. It takes approximately thirty days for YouTube to process and validate the documents and grant access.

We have created this blog to help make the process of accessing or closing a deceased family member’s account smoother. If you have any questions regarding other specific online accounts, please comment and we will provide more details for you.

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