Recently, Facebook decided to open up the post-death options for deceased user accounts that now allow you to designate an “executor” of your Facebook account after you’re gone.
The new feature is called Facebook Legacy Contact, and it involves a person that you’d want to take over your account in the event that you die – regardless of the circumstances surrounding that death. Since the Facebook Legacy Contact gets to take over your account after death, you must set this up before you’re deceased. If you fail to set up a Legacy Contact before death, and you die in a car accident, for example, Facebook will simply take over the account and create a memorial page with the words “Remembering John Jr.” (the name of the person here). Even in cases where you’ve established a Legacy Contact, he or she can only take control of the account after Facebook prepares the account for a virtual memorial. Facebook will not allow your Legacy Contact to IM or chat with you – since you will be deceased at the time, it is illegal for anyone to pose as you when you’re dead (this is called identity theft).
How to create your Facebook Legacy Contact
No one wants to give Facebook ultimate control of his or her account upon death; it’s likely the case that your family and friends will cherish it and treasure it in a way that Facebook will not, so setting up your Legacy Contact is of the utmost importance.
Here are some easy steps to create your Facebook Legacy Contact:
- Go to the Facebook app and press the three-bar symbol, whether at the top or bottom of the page.
- Scroll down to the section titled “Help & Settings” and select “Account Settings.”
- In settings, choose the second tab in the first section, titled “Security.”
- At the bottom of your security options, you’ll now see a “Legacy Contact.” From there, you’ll be able to see what your designated Legacy Contact can do (once you set someone as your Legacy Contact).
- If you decide you don’t want to designate a Legacy Contact, you can choose to have your account deleted upon your death. Though we don’t recommend this option, the choice is yours.
For more information on creating a legacy contact, visit Facebook’s FAQ Legacy Contact webpage.