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Facebook has made it easy for something to be done with an account after the death of its user. In fact, there are three things that can happen.
- Memorialization: A close relative could request that the account be “memorialized,” which locks and freezes it forever but keeps it on the site.
- Deactivation: A user could request that their account be deactivated and taken down.
- Transfer of control: A user could give someone their password so that they could take full control of the account. However, this is a violation of Facebook’s terms of service.
Most users choose the first or the second option above.
Facebook's Legacy Feature
There are millions of people who have Facebook and other social media accounts. Sometimes, account holders die and news feeds continue to go to and come from their accounts after their death. Their birthday notifications are still sent to their followers, and sometimes automatic requests come through from the deceased accounts.
Adding a legacy contact to your Facebook page allows an authorized user to access your memorialized page after your death. However, the legacy feature must be set up before the person dies. If not, the account will continue forever.
If you are interested in setting up the legacy feature on your account, it is quick and very easy to do. You might want to share this information with your family and friends who don't know about this worthwhile feature.
How to Set Up a Legacy Contact
It is very easy to set up a legacy contact, and it doesn't take much time at all to do so. To add a legacy contact, do these things in order:
- Go to the top right of your Facebook page.
- Click on the downward arrow.
- Scroll down to Settings and Click on it. When you do, you see General Account Settings.
- Click Manage Account at the bottom of the list.
- Type in a friend or family member's name to complete your Legacy Contact.
- Click Add.
- Let the person know they are your legacy contact.
- Click Send.
What Can Your Legacy Contact Do?
A legacy contact is someone you choose to manage your account after you die. That person will be able to do things like pin a post on your timeline to let your friends know that you have passed away. This is a good way to notify others (like friends and family members who are far away) about your death and funeral arrangements.
Memorialized vs. Deleted Accounts
You can notify Facebook in advance if you want your account to be memorialized or permanently deleted.
A memorialized account is a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person who has passed away. Memorialized accounts have the following key features:
- The word "Remembering" will be shown next to the person's name next to the profile.
- Friends can share memories on the memorialized timeline providing the setting allows it.
- The content the deceased person has shared stays on Facebook and continues to be visible to the audience it was shared with.
- No one can log into a memorialized account.
- Memorialized accounts that don't have a legacy contact can't be changed.
If can choose to have your account permanently deleted after your death, you need to stipulate this before you die. There are only a few steps to set it up.
- Click on Settings from the top right of your Facebook page.
- Click General Settings.
- Click Manage Account.
- Click Request Account Deletion and follow the instructions listed. Make sure that is what you want to happen because there are other other options.
Memorialized Facebook Profiles
If you die, a relative or friend can request for your Facebook profile to become memorialized, if that is what you wish. Your photos and posts will stay visible, but no one will be able to log in to your account any longer. It freezes your page in time, and your legal contact cannot post or delete anything.
If you prefer, you can request for your page to be taken down if you die. This procedure gives you control over what you want to happen to your page instead of leaving it active when you are in your resting place.
Facebook will need a death certificate or some proof that you have died in order for someone to memorialize your profile. It is a personal preference, but some people choose to have a legacy contact instead of having their account memorialized.
What Your Legacy Contact Can Do
Your legacy contact will be able to look after your Facebook page, but there are only some things they will be able to do. Your legacy contact can . . .
- Share a final message on your behalf and provide information about a memorial service. Make sure your setting allows your legacy contact to post temporarily. Once it is memorialized, your legacy contact won't be allowed to post if you have it set for only you to post.
- Your legacy contact will be able to update your profile picture and cover photo if you like. Most people don't want that to happen.
- Your legacy contact is the only one who can request the removal of your account.
- You also have the option to allow your legacy contact to download a copy of what you've shared on Facebook.
What Your Legal Contact Can't Do
A legacy contact must be at least 18 or older. Your legacy contact cannot do the following things:
- Log into your account
- Remove or change past posts, photos, and other things shared on your timeline
- Read your messages
- Remove any of your friends or make new friend requests
- Add a new legacy contact to your account
If You Change Your Mind
You are not locked into a legacy contact. However, keep in mind that it is just like a will. The last contact you have on file is the legal one. If you remove your last contact, then there will be no agreement for anyone to manage your page after your demise.
For Further Information
amjad khan on September 17, 2019: