How to Add a Legacy Contact on Facebook
By Marcus Seiter
For many of us, Facebook is a place to connect with friends, but also family. It’s how we stay close and bridge the miles. But what happens online after our passing? “When a person passes away, their account can become a memorial of their life, friendships and experiences,” explains Facebook, which now offers an option that was never officially available before: a Legacy Contact. Facebook defines this as “a family member or friend who can manage [the decedent’s] account when they pass away.”
Though, like with much estate planning, this might have morbid undertones for some, many may find this new option of comfort. “Until now, when someone passed away, we offered a basic memorialized account which was viewable, but could not be managed by anyone.” writes Facebook in its Newsroom. “By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realized there is more we can do to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death.”
How to Designate a Legacy Contact
- To start, go to your account and select Settings > Security > Legacy Contact.
- Type in the name of the person you would like to make your Legacy Contact.
- The next step is to decide whether your Legacy Contact has permission to download an archive of the posts, photos and profile info you’ve shared on Facebook. Alternatively, you can let Facebook know if you’d prefer to have your Facebook account permanently deleted after death.
- You have the option to send your Legacy Contact a message to let them know they have been chosen for the task, but it’s not required. Otherwise, they’ll officially be notified when Facebook becomes aware of your passing. Once someone notifies Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/651319028315841), Facebook will memorialize your account according to your wishes and the Legacy Contact will be able to:
-Write a post to display at the top of your memorialized Timeline. For example, they may announce a memorial service or share a special message about you.
-Respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook.
-Update your profile picture and cover photo.
Good to Know
If your choice is memorialization, it is good to know that all other settings will remain the same as before your account was memorialized. The Legacy Contact will not be able to log in as you or see your private messages.
Facebook also redesigned its memorialized profiles to pay tribute to the deceased by adding “Remembering” above your name and making it possible for your Legacy Contact to pin a post to the top of your Timeline.
Setting up a Legacy Contact is completely optional, but we recommend it to clients. And so it seems does Facebook: “Our team at Facebook is grateful and humbled to be working on these improvements. We hope this work will help people experience loss with a greater sense of possibility, comfort and support.” You can learn more on Facebook by clicking here: http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/02/adding-a-legacy-contact/