In a time where social media accounts are part of your estate plan, figuring out what should happen to your accounts when you die is something that must be considered. The developers at Facebook have been dealing with this issue for years. Previously, they allowed for a basic memorialized account that people could view but not manage. Now, Facebook has launched a new feature that allows you to choose a legacy contact, a trusted person who can manage the account after you die.
Purpose of a Legacy Contact
The purpose of a legacy contact is to allow someone to manage your social media account after you pass away. While technically you can just give your password to another person, it is a violation of Facebook’s terms of service. In addition, there is no guarantee that the something might happen with your password that would lock your account manager out of your page.
When Facebook is notified of your death, the company will memorialize the account. The legacy contact is then notified and given access to the page. The legacy contact will be able to add a post to the top of the timeline, respond to new friend requests, update the profile picture and cover photo. You can also give the legacy contact the ability to download an archive of your Facebook activity which includes posts, pictures, and any updated profile information. However, the legacy contact cannot log in to your personal page or read any private messages.
How to Set Up a Legacy Contact
The first thing to consider when creating a legacy contact is determining who that person will be. Many people choose their spouse or partner, but for an older generation that person may not be technologically savvy. Other people have chosen their child or a grandchild as the legacy contact, or they have named the executor of their estate to also manage their social media websites.
In order to actually set up a legacy contact on Facebook, the process is the same on a mobile device or on a desktop computer. First, go to your settings and scroll down to the “Legacy Contact” option at the bottom. Then, select Edit and follow the prompts to select which of your Facebook friends will be your legacy contact.
It is important to note that Facebook will not notify the person that you have set as your legacy contact that they have been selected. The legacy contact is only notified by the company once your account has been memorialized. It might be in your best interest to give your legacy contact the heads-up that you have selected them so that they will be expecting the responsibility later on.
If having a legacy contact for your Facebook account does not interest you, there is one other option. The company does allow for you to select an option that permanently deletes your account from Facebook when it is notified of your death.