Choosing a legacy contact on Facebook

The rise in technology has left us with a modern problem – what happens to our Facebook account after we die?

Here’s a few simple things you can do to plan ahead, as well as helpful advice if you ever need to close a deceased loved one’s Facebook account.

Choose a legacy contact

Facebook has taken steps to make handing over your profile to someone else in the event that you die very simple.

If you go into your settings, under ‘General Account Settings’ there is an option that reads ‘Manage account’ – when you click on this you’re presented with a list like the one pictured below.

You can elect a legacy contact – a spouse, family member or very close friend who also uses Facebook is best. After you pass away, they will be able to update your profile picture, respond to friend requests and pin something to your timeline – for example if there was a last message you wanted to share or to pass on details of a funeral service.

They won’t be able to delete former posts you’ve made or read any of your messages, so your privacy is still protected.

If you’d rather just delete your account after you pass away, that’s an option too – you can click to request account deletion instead.

Keep your passwords somewhere safe

Keeping your passwords for Facebook and your email address somewhere safe where your family member can find them can be very helpful after you’ve passed away.

If you don’t already keep your passwords noted in an accessible place, why not consider writing them down and sealing in an envelope. You can leave it with other important documents like your birth certificate or will.

Deactivating on behalf of a family member without a password

If you’re in a position where you need to close a friend or family member’s account after they have passed away and don’t have access to their passwords, you can notify Facebook and ask them to close the account on their behalf.

There’s a short form you’ll be directed to fill out where you file a special request for a deceased person’s account.

Do you think appointing a legacy contact is necessary for your Facebook page? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Silversurfer's Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assitant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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