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Facebook Legacy Contact — Choose What Happens to Your Facebook Profile When You Die

by Jelena Martinec
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Have you ever thought about the future of Facebook as a digital postmodern library filled with profiles of people who have long since passed away? Well, the staff working at Facebook certainly have. That’s why they built a function that is the theme of today’s article — Facebook Legacy Contact. 

A Legacy Contact is a person who was given authority to manage an account of a deceased person. The idea may seem a bit strange, but honestly, it’s less strange than to have your profile running after you die as if nothing had happened. If you’ve come across a profile like that, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Having a Legacy Contact isn’t just a sentimental gesture. It can actually be practical. A Legacy Contact can post information about the death of the person in question, so all of their Facebook friends could be informed. The person you authorize to control your profile after dying can also share information about the time and place of the funeral ceremony or memorial service. If you look at it like that, the Facebook Legacy Contact is actually a good idea.

A Legacy Contact has limited access to the profile they were given control over. They cannot view chats or receive and send messages from that profile. They can, however, share tribute posts and change the profile or cover photo. The Legacy Contact can also request the permanent removal of the departed person’s account after an appropriate period of time.

In this article, you are going to learn:

How to Set Up a Facebook Legacy Contact

If you have decided to choose a Facebook Legacy Contact, you can do it easily with your smartphone. 

To start, open the Facebook app and tap the three-bar button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Then scroll down and go to Settings & Privacy and tap Settings.

Go to Facebook Settings - Facebook Legacy Contact

Finding the Legacy Contact option is easy. Select the first option in the Settings menu titled Personal and Account Information. Inside, you will tap the Account Ownership and Control option.

Personal and Account Information - Facebook Legacy Contact

You can choose what happens to your Facebook profile after death in the Memorialization settings. Tap that bar, then tap the blue button titled Choose Legacy Contact

Memorialization Settings - Facebook Legacy Contact

Type in the FB profile name of the person you want to be your Legacy Contact. They will be notified via Messenger that you have selected them for this task. 

Type the Facebook Legacy Contact

Appointing a Legacy Contact is not the only option. Anyone with a profile can request to have their FB account permanently deleted after death. 

How to Request That Your Account Be Deleted After Death

The option to have your account deleted after death can be found in the Memorialization Settings explained in the previous segment. 

Go to the Settings menu on your FB profile, then choose Account ownership and control. Beneath the Legacy Contact option is the alternative Delete Account After Death.

Delete After Death - Facebook Legacy Contact

Then select the option titled Yes, Delete After Death and tap the blue Save button. 

How to Notify Facebook That Someone With a Profile Has Died

The only way any of the two aforementioned functions can be activated is if someone notifies Facebook that a person with a profile has passed away. 

If you want to notify Facebook that someone has passed, visit that person’s profile and tap the three-dot button beneath their name. Then select the Find support or report profile option.

Find Support or Report Profile - Facebook Legacy Contact

You will see a list of problems to select from. Tap the Something else category, and select the Memorialize this account option. You will need to fill out a simple form, and that account will either be memorialized or deleted. 

Memorialize Facebook Account - Facebook Legacy Contact

To Summarize

The answer to the question posed in the title of this article depends on what kind of attitude and approach a person has to social media platforms such as Facebook. To some, it may bring discomfort to have their profile linger on after they die. If you are that person, you can just have your account deleted.

On the other hand, having a memorialized account may be all right for someone whose family or friends would like to remember them that way. In that case, choosing a trustworthy person to be a Legacy Contact is recommended. 

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