If one of your Facebook friends has ever passed away, you may have noticed that their page stays active.
Often, the deceased person’s profile becomes a place for friends to send messages of sympathy to the family and to share memories. Recently, Facebook has added more options so that users can determine exactly what will happen to their accounts in the event of their death.
The feature allows users to choose a “legacy contact,” someone who will have access to their profile after they have passed away.
This feature works in conjunction with Facebook’s existing memorialization system. When a Facebook user passes away, friends and family members can request that the page become memorialized.
After verifying that the person has died, Facebook converts the account into a memorialized account. Memorialized accounts retain all of the content the user shared, including pictures and posts, with the same privacy settings. However, memorialized accounts are no longer visible in public spaces such as birthday reminders, advertisements, or “People You May Know” suggestions. Facebook adds “Remembering” to the person’s name to indicate that the person has passed away.
If a user has chosen a legacy contact, he or she will be able to access the account once it has been memorialized. The purpose of the legacy contact is to monitor your account after you have passed away. They’ll be able to update your profile picture and cover photo. They can also write a pinned post that will show up on your timeline, which they can use to share information about a funeral and memorial services. They can also accept or reject new friend requests. However, the legacy contact’s access is limited. They won’t be able to change or remove past content, remove friends, or read messages.
Facebook has also added an option to request that your account be permanently deleted in the event of your death.Both this option and the option to add a legacy contact are available through Facebook Settings. In the security menu, click on Legacy Contact. From there, you can choose a legacy contact or choose to have your account deleted after your death. You can also opt to send a message to your legacy contact to notify them of your choice and provide instructions, if you wish. Currently, the legacy contact option is available to users within the United States and will be rolling out soon to other countries.
For more information, you can visit Facebook’s page on what will happen to your account if you pass away.