2016 WITNESSED an unusual amount of celebrity deaths, including music legends George Michael, Prince, David Bowie, actress Carrie Fisher and sporting hero, Mohammed Ali, all of which have prompted worldwide mourning via social media. Unofficial tribute and memorial pages are created the moment the news of a celebrity passing breaks, often set up by management or fans, while some celebrities’ Twitter accounts and official Facebook pages remain active for fans to engage with.

New research has revealed that Brits are obsessing over the celebrity deaths of the past year and are thinking about their own online legacy when they pass with – Google trend data shows a 96% increase year on year on searches for celebrity deaths.
Millennials are at the helm of this trend that will see Britons living on through their social media accounts, similar to that of their favourite celebrities.
A survey of 1,000 UK adults, carried out by Damsons as part of the Funeral Traditions Report, revealed that 75% of 18 - 34 year olds would like their social media accounts to remain open in the event of their passing.
And while only 6% said they would like a social media page set up to act as a memorial for them, almost 1 in 5 wanted their accounts left open to enable loved ones to take comfort from looking through their past statuses and photographs.
The data did find however that Brits feel uneasy about ongoing interactions taking place on their page, with just 7% saying they would want friends and family to wish them happy birthday on social media once they had passed.
13% of 18 - 34 year olds would even consider having their funeral broadcast on the internet - compared to 4% of the nation as a whole.
14% of this age group also consider social media to be a good way of informing loved ones of funeral plans, and even inviting them to the event.
"By 2079, there could be as many as 59,000 funerals broadcast online"
Philip Ste De Croix, Head of Future Planning at Damsons, commented: “In a year that has seen the passing of so many famous faces, it’s prompted the younger generation to start thinking about the legacy they will leave behind when they pass, especially that of their digital legacy.
 “For many Millennials, social media is a huge part of their lives and plays an active role in their relationships and how they interact with their loved ones. It is only natural that this age group would want their social media to play a part in how their passing is marked, and beyond.
For many, their social media accounts will act as a eulogy - a digital tombstone marking their life and their death.
For more information and to read the Funeral Traditions Report, please visit http://damsonsfutureplanning.co.uk/funeral-report-2016.pdf
For more information about Damsons, please visit www.damsonsfutureplanning.co.uk
 About Damsons: Damsons is a Manchester-based future planning company dedicated to preparing people for the last chapters of their lives and beyond. Damsons has a range of services and products designed to offer financial security and assurance upon death, including funeral plans, Will writing and estate administration. Damsons is committed to providing an affordable, tailored solution that ensures both its customers and its loved ones are suitably taken care of when the time comes to say goodbye.

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