Here’s What Happens to Your Facebook After You Pass Away

Social Media After You Pass AwayHaving a well-crafted estate plan is an enormous benefit to your family and loved ones. Proper use of estate planning tools can minimize the tax burden to your heirs, while easing the transfer of assets. But what about the matter of your online/social media presence once you pass away?

You might be surprised to learn that Facebook has applied a lot of consideration regarding what can happen to your account once you pass away. In fact, there are a number of ways to utilize your Facebook to preserve your final thoughts and memories. Facebook allows you to designate a “legacy contact.” This person will be allowed to pin a post on your Timeline after your death, such as a funeral announcement or obituary. The contact won’t be able to log in as you or read your private messages, but will be allowed to respond to new friend requests, update your cover and profile photos, archive your Facebook posts and photos.

Prior to this functionality, the profiles of the deceased could only be “memorialized,” deleted, or left unchanged after friends or family reported the deaths. Memorializing the profile freezes the account, which then no longer appears in searches or public notifications like birthdays, and can be viewed only by the user’s friends.

If you’re interested in designating a legacy contact, while logged into your Facebook account, you can simply go to Security and click on “Legacy Contact.” Here, you’ll be able to select one of your Facebook friends. You’ll also be given the option to send them a pre-written message (which you can edit) that provides information about the policy. Otherwise, the contact will be notified only when your death has been reported to Facebook, and your account is memorialized.

While this process handles a portion of your online presence after you pass away, it’s crucial to have a plan for your family and loved ones. Regardless of the size of your estate, you should have a comprehensive plan. The experienced attorneys at Martinson & Beason can help at any step along the way. Contact us today.