In the digital age, our online presence extends beyond social media. Platforms like Twitch, where users engage with live-streamed content, present unique considerations when it comes to estate planning. Do you know what happens to a Twitch account after an individual passes away? If you die and a loved one needs to take care of your estate, the following information is important for your estate planning attorney, personal representative (executor), trustee, and beneficiaries to know.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is a live-streaming platform primarily used for broadcasting and watching live video content, often centered around gaming, music, or other creative endeavors. Users on Twitch fall into two main categories:
- Viewers who engage with and watch the live-streamed content on Twitch; and
- Users who actively create and stream content, building communities and often earning income in a variety of ways.
Deleting an account for someone who views content online should be fairly quick and easy. There is only a personal profile to delete. But if you are earning income generated through various streams, including subscriber payments, donations, and ad revenue, somebody must collect these payments, or they will be lost. You need to let your trusted decision-makers know about your account and give them instructions explaining how to access it and how Twitch handles payments after an account creator passes.
Information to Provide
Your personal representative, trustee, or loved one will need your account username and password to access your Twitch account and determine whether to temporarily deactivate it before permanently deleting it. In some cases, Twitch may require additional information to verify the identity of the account owner or the individual requesting the account's deletion.
Items to provide may include a death certificate or obituary to prove that you are deceased, as well as documentation confirming your birthdate or other personal information. This step is crucial to prevent unauthorized access and adhere to privacy and security measures.
Getting Ready to Deactivate the Account
Deactivating or deleting a Twitch account involves sending a request directly to Twitch in an email contact form. You can get guidance on how to delete a Twitch account by visiting Twitch's website.
Twitch will contact your trustee, personal representative, or loved one with further instructions and explain how to collect any remaining payouts. When accessing and reviewing the account, your personal representative, trustee, or loved one can check the payout history and how payments are received, which may include the following receipt methods:
- ACH/direct deposit
- eCheck/local bank
- Wire transfers
Payment information will need to be changed for any future monthly payouts. While your trusted decision-maker is wrapping up your affairs, these payments will likely need to be made to a bank account that has been created for your estate or trust to ensure that your chosen beneficiaries receive the money and that your debts are paid. Once the administration is over, you can work with the beneficiary to change the payment instructions if payments are continuing, or delete the account if no further income is going to be generated. Twitch shares information regarding payment procedures on its website. This information is helpful for understanding when and how payments are processed, ensuring that ongoing payouts are appropriately managed and received appropriately going forward. Deactivating an account can be reversed, but deleting it is permanent.
Before Permanently Deleting the Account
When completely deleting an account, your executor or trustee may want to remove sensitive data connected to it first, such as payment methods and identification information.
For a streaming account, they can also let followers know that you are deceased and the account is being shut down or that future activity will be taken over by someone else on a specific date and under a new account.
Talk to Your Estate Planning Attorney about Online Accounts
Addressing the fate of a Twitch account or any other online account—for utilities, insurance, banking, investments, and social media profiles—must be done before something happens to you. Think about who would be tasked with closing your accounts, transferring balances, or receiving ongoing payouts. Ensure that they have the contact information for the digital platform, the account type, and login information and can locate the necessary steps for deletion in your legal documents or online.
Your personal representative or trustee must have access to the additional information required to confirm your identity and that you have passed away. Give them the information directly for safekeeping and provide the contact details of your estate planning attorney. By working through this process thoughtfully, you can ensure that your digital accounts are seamlessly transitioned, financial proceeds are not lost, and online profiles and personal information are removed correctly.
Our estate planning attorney works with you to preserve and protect your home, earnings, and life savings at every stage of life. Part of your plan includes ensuring that your loved ones experience a smooth administration process. We can guide executors and trustees through probate proceedings and trust settlement or manage the entire process. Contact us today.
 Delete My Twitch Account, Twitch, https://help.twitch.tv/s/article/delete-twitch-account?language=en_US (last visited Dec. 21, 2023).
 When Am I Getting Paid?, Twitch, https://help.twitch.tv/s/article/when-am-i-getting-paid?language=en_US (last visited Dec. 21, 2023).