Digital accounts: what happens after you die?

In our previous post, we covered what happens to your social media accounts after you die. This time, we explore what happens with your Google & Apple accounts and how you can clarify your wishes when it comes to your digital identity.

Google

As with Facebook, Google allows you to make provisions for what is to happen to your account upon your death, before the time comes. The settings can be accessed in the Google Account Help Centre.

Apple

Apple is a different kettle of fish. According to their terms and conditions, Apple will not transfer your account to any other person and any rights to your content terminate upon your death, unless Apple is provided with a Court Order saying otherwise.  If Apple receives a copy of a death certificate for a loved one, they may delete the account and all content within it.

So what can you do?

Leaving passwords written down in the care of others is not a surefire way of passing on your digital estate, not only because of the need to update passwords, but also because you may be breaching the terms and conditions of a service by sharing your password with another person. If the service provider finds out that another person is accessing your account, they could ban that person and remove the account for breaching their terms and conditions of use.

Your general wishes regarding what should happen with your digital identity can be captured by specific bequests in your Will. If you’d like to update your Will, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our friendly team.

 

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon

Social media: what happens after you die?

Dealing with the social media accounts of a loved one after they pass can be a daunting and confusing process. More people will need to face this challenge into the future, so we ask: ever wondered what will happen to your social media accounts after you die?

Facebook

There are a few options regarding what will happen to your Facebook account should you pass away. You can elect to have it permanently deleted upon your death or you can add a legacy contact that will look after your account. Both options can be accessed in the Facebook Help Centre settings, or you can read more here.

Instagram

Regarding your Instagram account, you can’t add a legacy contact and instead an immediate family member or representative authorised to act on behalf of your Estate needs to fill in a removal request form in the Instagram Help Centre. This will require providing relevant documentation to have the account removed. You can read more here. 

LinkedIn and Twitter

Both LinkedIn and Twitter accounts are similar, with a verified family member or a person authorised to act on behalf of the Estate needing to contact each platform personally to arrange the deactivation of  these accounts. Twitter now also has a form submission option in the Twitter Help Centre.

Your wishes as to what will happen to your social media accounts in the event of your death can be captured in your Will, reducing the burden on your loved ones and ensuring accounts are dealt with according to your wishes. If you’d like to update your Will, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with our team.

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon

Parenting during restrictions

Changes in employment, schooling and the general increase in anxiety caused by the current climate have prompted a rise in family tensions. Parents who are separated and have shared care of their children are not immune. In this blog, we discuss how restrictions could have an impact on parenting arrangements.

When the usual points of changeover are closed or inaccessible due to restrictions (like schools), it may not be possible for parents to comply with court orders or their usual parenting arrangements. For children who spend time with their parents in different states, border closures have made this impossible.

So what can be done?

The simplest way to find a new arrangement may be to communicate with the other parent to try to reach an agreement, if it is safe to do so. This can be done by parents or by lawyers acting on behalf of parents. There are also mediation services that can assist parents, many of which are conducting sessions electronically during this time.

For parents who have negotiated a temporary solution to their parenting arrangements, it is recommended that all agreements reached during this time are put in writing either by way of informal methods such as email or in a parenting plan which can specify that the changed arrangements are only for the period of the COVID-19 restrictions. Having written agreements can reduce confusion and evidence agreements reached, especially if the parents are involved in any future court hearings.

Receiving advice from an experience legal professional can put your mind at ease regarding your rights and obligations in parenting matters during this unprecedented time.

If you need advice in relation to any family law matter, including parenting issues, please contact us.

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon

When can an employee be stood down?

In our latest blog, we answer a topical question during the COVID-19 pandemic – when can an employee be stood down? 

Under the Fair Work Act, an employer can stand down an employee without pay in certain circumstances if the employee cannot be otherwise usefully employed. This includes when it is for a reason the employer is not responsible for. Amendments made in early April enable employers who qualify for the JobKeeper scheme to temporarily stand down an employee or reduce their hours in certain circumstances if they meet the requirements.

What type of circumstances?

If a business has been forced to close due to an enforceable government restriction (such as the closing of businesses including gyms, some beauty services and cinemas) during the COVID-19 pandemic and the employees can’t work from elsewhere, this may be a reason where the employer could stand down staff.

Usefully employed?

The facts of each case are taken into consideration when determining whether the employee could have been otherwise usefully employed but ultimately, it means that there is no work for the employee to do in any location.

The employee is still employed by the business during the stand down period and will accrue their usual entitlements during this time. It’s important to remember that employment contracts, awards and other agreements can impose additional or other requirements for standing down staff.

Getting advice from an experienced legal professional can ensure you are aware of what rights and obligations you have as an employer or as an employee during COVID-19 and beyond. If you’d like some advice, please contact us.

*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon