Facebook’s Legacy Contact Protects Your Digital Assets After Death
Have you noticed that some social networking sites are starting to follow our lead when it comes to preparing for the future? A few, like Facebook, are starting to provide options for people to protect their “digital assets,” just like we protect your financial assets after death.
In 2015, Facebook introduced the “Legacy Contact,” something akin to a trustee in your living trust. A Legacy Contact is someone who knows you well and could manage your memorialized Facebook account after you die. Once someone passes away, friends are to notify Facebook, and once the passing has been verified, the word “Remembering” is added in front of the deceased’s name. Friends can then post memories, pictures, and other sentiments to the wall of the person who has passed, and it’s really a nice way for loved ones to honor a person’s memory.
In the past, however, Facebook would not allow anyone to do things like change the deceased’s profile picture or accept new friend requests. When you consider that many people temporarily change profile pictures to images other than their face (a favorite animal, funny meme, or just about anything else you can imagine), you can see that it
might be nice to have the ability to change it.
As for friend requests, think of friends or family members who are not on Facebook right now, but may create an account at a later date. Chances are, they would want to follow a memorialized page of someone they knew and loved.
When you designate a legacy contact, this person is given the ability to change a profile picture, accept friend requests, and pin a post to a person’s timeline so that it is always visible. Some things that a legacy contact cannot do are delete or edit posts that were created while the person was still living and read the person’s private messages sent through Facebook. Makes sense, right?
If you like the idea of having a legacy contact on Facebook, just go to your account settings and click on “Security.” From there, you’ll see the option to select a legacy contact, or even to have your account deleted after you die, if that’s what you choose.
Either way, it’s always nice to know that you’ve made your wishes clear for your loved ones. Just like having an estate plan, it’s a huge relief to those you love that they are not left wondering and worrying.