There’s no getting away from death, and if you want to make sure your Facebook account is in good hands once you have been reported as deceased, you can set up a Legacy Contact.
A designated Facebook legacy contact will be able to manage your account so that it can be turned into an appropriate memorial. They will be able to write a post that’s displayed at the top of the profile, change profile images on the page, and, err, even respond to new friend requests on behalf of the deceased. That last one does, admittedly, sound a little weird, but not to worry. Prior permission will also allow them to download an archive of posts and photos (but not private messages).
The legacy contact won’t be able to edit what the deceased already posted, what friends continue to post on the page, or remove tagged images. Nor will they be able to delete the account.
To choose a legacy contact, you need to head into Settings, choose Security, then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page. There, you designate an existing Facebook friend and grant them permissions. You can only choose one person — there’s no emergency backup in case you both meet a sticky end together. If you don’t choose a legacy contact on Facebook but do name a digital heir in your will, Facebook will designate that person when it is told about it.
There’s also an option to have a member’s account deleted altogether! Before, Facebook accounts were “memorialized” after death, or locked so that no one could log in.
With this new feature, the gigantic network is ensuring that the account of a user who died doesn’t show up as a “suggested friend” so as to avoid upsetting the deceased’s loved ones.
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