Death in the Digital Age- Memorializing Someone’s Facebook Account

| Updated on March 26, 2024

Facebook holds a lot of precious moments and memories of so many people. You keep making memories and share it to Facebook so that your friends and relatives can also have a glimpse of it. You can also recollect all those special moments whenever you log in to your Facebook account and look back to those pictures. But have you ever thought of what happens to your Facebook account when you die? No one wants to think about that actually. Facebook takes care of that too and has a proper policy to memorialize Facebook account of the deceased person.

If someone from your Facebook family and friends have passed away and their account is still active, here are the available options.

  • Legacy Contacts

Legacy contacts are those selected by the deceased person before their death. It can be a family member or a friend who can manage the person’s account after their death.

Legacy Contacts are:

  • Allowed to make a pinned post at the top of the deceased person’s Timeline, update their profile picture & cover photo and respond to new friend requests. They can also download an archive of the user’s photos, Timeline posts, and profile information with the deceased user’s permission taken before.
  • Are not allowed to log into the deceased user’s account, check any of their private information, such as Facebook messages. They cannot delete the person’s posts, photos or friends.

To choose a Legacy Contact, here are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Log in to your Facebook account and go to the settings section.
  • Under the ‘Security’ option, select ‘Legacy Contact’.
  • Next, click on ‘Edit’, type your friend or family member’s name and then click ‘Add’.
  • After that, you can inform the selected person about your decision as they will be the one to ask Facebook to memorialize your account.
  • Once you have done this, you can decide if you want them to download a copy of your Facebook account under Data Archive Permission. If yes, click the checkbox and then click Close.

If you don’t want to choose a legacy contact before you die, no one will be allowed to manage your Facebook account and they can only memorialize it.

  • Memorializing someone’s Facebook Account

Now, if the person has passed away without setting up a legacy contact, you can still ask Facebook to memorialize their account. Facebook knows the importance of a profile for the deceased person’s family and friends.

Facebook verifies requests but the requestor need not be the decedent’s executor or a family member. Anyone can submit the request form. This is done to ensure that memorialization takes place at the right time.

How to Memorialize Facebook Account?

It can be done by filling a form in the help section and requesting Facebook to put the account in a memorialized state. Once Facebook approves it, the account becomes restricted to friends only and the sensitive information is removed, if any. However, profile and wall will be kept active so that the friends & family can post memories and pay condolences.

The word ‘Remembering’ will be used in front of the memorialized account’s name. The account will not show up in Facebook ads, people you may know section and no reminders will be sent on the person’s birthday. This also prevents the account from getting hacked as memorialized accounts cannot be logged into anytime.

Deleting the Memorialized Account

A close family member of the deceased person can also request Facebook to remove their profile completely.

For this purpose, you have to fill the Special Request for Deceased Person’s Account form. You will need to provide the deceased person’s full name, email address, date of death and the URL of their Timeline. You will also need to provide proof that you are an immediate family member by showing a birth certificate, death certificate, or proof of authority.

Download the Memorialized Account Information

The deceased person can mention in your will that who will access the information on your Facebook account and Facebook will respect their decision afterwards. Whoever has been instructed by the deceased person will be allowed to download the account information after presenting the prior authorization or court order.

How to Memorialize A Facebook Page?

There is no specific procedure that has to be followed that lets you memorialize your Facebook page. Once the Facebook account has been memorialized and no one has access to it, the connected pages will stay there but there will be no activity on that. In case, it has been requested by the deceased person’s family or friends to delete the concerned Facebook account, the linked Facebook pages will also be taken down.

Contact Facebook help if you weren’t able to memorialize Facebook account of a family person (deceased).

Janvi Panthri

Senior Writer, Editor

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