Death is always a tough subject to talk about with loved ones. I truly understand this as I’m continuing to deal with my father’s passing last August. From getting everything in order on notifying friends and family of his passing to dealing with the estate for months afterward, it’s a tough situation. Social media, digital assets, and online accounts can be one of the hardest to deal with, especially if the death was not expected. Many states have considered passing new laws regarding digital assets but still many digital assets rulings are based on the user agreements we all click “Yes, I agree” to without fully reading.
Facebook is an example of a company who has had a policy that only the user themselves should use the account given to them. If someone passed away there was an option to request the account to be memorialized by submitting the exact date of passing and proof of death by a family member. You could also request it to be permanently deleted.
How to make sure your Facebook survives after death and could be used as a way to contact friends and family wasn’t solved fully by the memorialized feature. Just image how many photos you have posted to Facebook you might not currently have backed that would be wanted by your family. Think about how some friends, the only way we might keep in contact with them if through Facebook. Finally Facebook has an answer to that problem if you are diligent on setting up your account.
Facebook has added a setting called “My Legacy Contact” which also you to add someone close to you as the manger of your account after you pass away. They will be able to pin a post on your timeline, respond to new friend request, and update your portfolio picture. I will also allow that person to have permission to data archives to download a copy of what you’ve shared on Facebook, including photos, posts, videos, and info from your about section. Messages won’t be included in this feature.
It’s simple to setup your own legacy contact on Facebook but you might want to let the person know ahead of time you are doing this.
Step 1: Go to your security settings
Step 2: Find the person you want to add to your legacy contact
Step 3: Message that person about being your legacy contact
Step 4: You can always remove that person as your legacy contact, if needed
Digital assets are a tough topic and I always suggest making sure you have account information and passwords available for someone to assist with in your passing.