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What happens to your Facebook account when you die?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Social media has become increasingly important in the modern world, and the odds are high that you use Facebook to connect with far-flung loved ones, communicate with friends, joke around in online communities and save cherished memories.

What happens to all that when you die? Your online presence will generally outlive you, and that can either be a source of great comfort or significant pain for your loved ones. That makes it important to give some thought to how you’d like this issue handled.

Facebook follows its own rules

Facebook has actually considered this issue already, and the company has implemented features that allow you to address what happens to your account after your death. Here are the options:

  • Memorialization: When Facebook is notified of a user’s death, it will automatically “memorialize” your profile. It will annotate your page to show that you have passed, and leave the other content alone – but the profile cannot be logged into or changed without additional steps.
  • Legacy contacts: This feature allows you to set a “legacy contact,” or name someone to manage your account after you are gone. While their ability to change your account is somewhat restricted, they can change your profile picture and cover photos, request the removal of your account, review posts that others try to add to your account, download whatever you’ve uploaded to the account (like photos) and more.
  • Deletion: Some people choose to have their Facebook accounts permanently deleted after their deaths. If you choose this feature, Facebook will automatically take that step once the company is notified of your passing.

Issues like these are becoming more important than ever to address through digital estate planning. If you haven’t yet considered what will happen to your digital assets after your death, it may be wise to learn more.