How to Create a Facebook Legacy Contact

Aug 17, 2016

In the past few years, people have begun to face a problem that previous generations never had to consider: what happens to my Facebook account after I die?

That may sound silly, but just about everyone is on Facebook—kids in elementary school, your 85 year old grandfather, your entire high school graduating class.  Typical Facebook profile pages include a lot of information, ranging from your cell phone number to photos.

What happens to this information when you pass away?  It’s something to consider.  Do you want your profile to disappear?  Do you want it to remain up so that people can remember you and continue to view old memories?

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Last year, Facebook began to offer to its users the opportunity to name a Legacy Contact—a family member or close friend who is given a certain amount of power over your Facebook profile after you’ve died.  According to your wishes, that person will either delete your account or will be given the ability to manage your memorial page.  This means that they will be able to write a pinned post for your page (the details of a funeral service, for example), respond to any friend requests you receive, and update your profile picture/cover photo.  You can also decide whether or not they will be able to download a copy of everything you publically shared on Facebook since you joined.

Your legacy contact’s powers will be limited, however.  They will not be able to log into your account, which means that they will not be able to read your messages, remove or change past posts, or remove any of your friends.

So whether you want your profile removed so that you aren’t remembered for that one embarrassing beach trip, or you would like your friends and family have an online platform in order to preserve your memory—it’s your choice.  Just make sure to go into your Facebook settings and change them to reflect your wishes!

If you want to permanently delete your account upon death

  1. From the top right of Facebook, click and select Settings
  2. From the left menu, click Security
  3. Click Legacy Contact
  4. Click have your account permanently deleted and follow the on-screen instructions

If you want to set up a legacy contact

  1. From the top right of Facebook, click and select Settings
  2. From the left menu, click Security
  3. Click Legacy Contact
  4. Click choose a friend inside of the white box to insert a Facebook friend
  5. Click Add to put that person in charge of your Facebook if you pass away
  6. ***Optional*** If you want your legacy contact to be able to download all information from your Facebook (pictures, posts, videos etc.), Click on the box under Data Archive Permission – this should pop up as an option once you add the legacy contact
Will Estate Plan

Along with wrapping up social media accounts, it is important to be sure your own estate plan is up-to-date and completed. Many times, going through a probate for a loved one brings about the realization that having an estate plan may help avoid the costs and time associated with extensive court procedures associated with an incomplete estate plan.

The experienced estate planning attorneys at Ambler Keenan Mitchell Johnson offer a free, one-hour initial estate planning consultation. To schedule your personalized meeting, contact us at 303-407-1542 or contact us online here.

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