Facebook makes it easier for users to decide what happens to their Facebook account after death. Adding to the previous option of creating a Facebook Memorial page and removing the account Facebook now lets users choose a Facebook Legacy Contact.
When you set up a Facebook Legacy contact, this person can control your Facebook account after you die. This must be set up on Facebook before death, and there are limits to what the “executor” of your Facebook account can do with it after your death.
If you choose to appoint someone as your Facebook heir they cannot take your account until Facebook memorializes an account when someone tells the service that the user died.
What Happens to Facebook After Death?
If you pass away, your Facebook Legacy Contact can do a small selection of tasks on your Facebook account so that family and friends can still keep in touch and they can make important changes and posts to the page.
You can choose to set a Facebook Legacy contact, to have your account deleted or if no contact is set Facebook will memorialize the page without any option to update information. When someone is reported deceased Facebook will add “Remembering” above their name like in the screen shot below.
Here are three specific tasks a Facebook Legacy contact can do after you die.
- Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message)
- Respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
- Update the profile picture and cover photo
This lets the contact tell people when a memorial service is, where to donate to and other important information that many users may look for on Facebook. For users who were not already friends, the Legacy contact can accept the requests. Previously this was not possible, which meant users who found you after death couldn’t add you as a friend.
Finally the option to update the two primary photos is a big one. We’ve all used Facebook profile photos that aren’t the most flattering for the long-term, and with this power the Facebook Legacy contact can replace them with something more appropriate before friends and family show up to memorialize you.
You can give permission for the contact to download all of your Facebook photos. The option to download all Facebook photos of someone who passed away is especially nice to have considering how few photos many of us print these days. The contact cannot read private messages or use Facebook as you.
How to Set a Facebook Legacy Contact
It is a good idea to set a Facebook Legacy Contact who can manage small parts of your Facebook account after your death. You can set this up on Facebook in a matter of minutes and you don’t need to make it part of any legal will.
You can perform this action on an iPhone, Android, iPad or on your computer. Go to Settings in the Facebook App. To do this tap on the three lines and more at the bottom of the app. Then go to Settings at the bottom of that page.
Now tap on Security near the top of this page. You will now see a Legacy Contact option at the bottom of the Security settings. Tap on it.
Tap on Choose Legacy Contact. Now type the name of a Facebook friend you want to choose. Select that friend and choose if you should send a Facebook message telling them about your choice.
They don’t have access until you die and if you don’t send a message now Facebook will alert them after your death. On the next page choose if they can archive your data and if you want the account deleted.