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You can finally control what happens to your Facebook when you die

Published Feb 12th, 2015 9:30PM EST
Facebook and Death: Legacy Contact
Image: Facebook

Facebook on Thursday announced a new feature for its social network, the addition of a Legacy Contact, or a person who will be allowed to control your account after you pass away — certainly, that must have been a problem for various Facebook users who might not have been able to access accounts of deceased relatives or close friends after their passing.

FROM EARLIER: How Facebook and Twitter make you pay the ‘cost of caring’

The new feature lets a user configure his or her legacy contact, who will be able to manage the account once the user dies. The legacy contact can pin posts to your Timeline, respond to friend requests and update your profile picture. Legacy contacts won’t be able to access your messages though, as they’ll actually manage your account from within their own, instead of getting your password or full, unrestricted access.

Moreover, the legacy contact will be able to manage someone’s account only after they let Facebook know that a person has passed away.

Legacy contacts will also be able to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information that person has shared on Facebook, and even choose to delete the account if they so desire.

In the event that an account remains active, a “Remembering” mention will be added above the deceased person’s name on Facebook.

Before this new feature was added, Facebook offered a memorialized account feature, though it did not let family and friends of the recently deceased person manage that account.

In order to select your legacy contact on Facebook, you have to go to Settings, then Security and then Legacy Contact. In there, you can further customize the kind of access your legacy contact will have, and even contact them to let them know you chose them.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.