Today, Facebook made it possible to add a “Legacy Contact,” or someone who can gain control of your account and memorialize—or delete—it in the event you pass away. Here’s how you set it up.
Nobody likes to think about their death, but it’s something that we all must prepare for. Though it’s a little morbid, this new system makes it much easier for family members or friends to take care of your Facebook account in unfortunate circumstances. Whoever you assign your legacy contact will be able to post things that appear at the top of your memorialized Timeline, respond to requests from friends and family members that may not have been connected to Facebook beforehand, and update profile pictures.
You can also set it up so that your Legacy Contact can download an archive of your photos, posts, and profile information for safe keeping (no private messages will be saved). Of course, your Legacy Contact can also have your Facebook account permanently deleted if that’s what you prefer. Here are the steps to setting it all up:
- Go to your account Settings > Security > Legacy Contact.
- Then type in the name of the person you would like to make your Legacy Contact.
- You have the option to send them a message to let them know, but it’s not required. Otherwise, they’ll notified when Facebook becomes aware of your passing.
- Then select whether your Legacy Contact will have Data Archiving permission and whether or not you’d like your account to be deleted.
That’s all there is to it. Again, this all might seem a little morbid, but it’s really for the people you care about in your life. Your passing will be hard on everyone, and giving someone the ability to either memorialize your account or delete it can help. It also keeps your account from becoming dormant, possibly to be hacked into later on. You can learn more about Legacy Contacts at the link below.
Update: It appears that the option is rolling out to everyone over time. If you don’t have it yet, you’ll probably get it soon.
Adding a Legacy Contact | Facebook Newsroom