“You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)

What Happens To Your Facebook Page After You Pass Away?

Facebook: An Essential Tool

Facebook has become an essential tool to connect with friends and family.  When something good happens, or you want to share a picture of your family, for millions of Americans, Facebook is the media upon which they share. 

picture of a webpage linking to facebook.

While we share good things on Facebook, life is not all a “bed of roses,” and sometimes, bad things happen. 

So, have you ever considered what will happen to your online presence when you pass away?

In case of the worst, we are here to help you transform anyone’s Facebook page into a meaningful digital memorial so their memory can be forever treasured.  

When Someone’s Digital Self Crosses Over Into Eternity

A deceased individual’s Facebook profile doesn’t have to be deleted upon death.  

While you can instruct Facebook to delete your account when you pass away, you also have the option to have your account remain active in a memorialized status. 

Option #1 – Delete The Account

When a Facebook page is deleted upon death, all messages, photos, posts, comments, reactions, and information are immediately and permanently removed from Facebook.  The deceased’s main profile and any additional Facebook profiles are also deleted.

Option #2 – Memorialize The Account

Memorialized accounts leave a lasting digital legacy that enables loved ones to share memories, express sympathy, and honor the deceased individual’s life. 

When a page is memorialized, Facebook adds a “Remembering” badge next to the person’s name

This badge tells the public that the person has passed away.

Privacy Settings For Memorialized Pages

Depending upon the privacy settings for the deceased person’s account, the following options are available for post-mortem access. 

Limited “intimate” visibility:  The Facebook profile becomes visible exclusively to friends and family already connected to the account but not to the general public.

Secure access:  No one, except friends and relatives, can log into a secure access memorialized account.

Sealed connections:  Memorialized accounts cannot accept new friend requests or post new content.  However, depending on privacy settings, friends and family can still post on the timeline. 

Legacy Contacts – Your Facebook Voice After Death

If you want a memorialized account, you should designate someone to manage your Facebook page after you die.  This person is called a “legacy contact.”

Facebook users can choose a “legacy contact” to oversee specific functions of a memorialized account.  I strongly recommend that everyone select a legacy contact as soon as possible (since you never know when you will die). 

Your legacy contact can:

  • Create a pinned post for the profile with a sentimental remark or information on a memorial service.
  • Respond to calls for new friends.
  • Update the cover photo and profile picture.
  • If desired, request account deletion.

Below is how you designate your legacy contact:

  1. Enter the settings for your Facebook account.
  2. Find “Memorialization Settings.”
  3. Choose a buddy who you can trust to be your legacy contact.
  4. Confirm your selection by clicking “Add”.

How does Facebook know when someone dies?

There are two primary ways that Facebook recognizes that a user has passed away. 

Digital intuition: If Facebook determines that the account owner has passed away, using AI algorithms or analyzing public documents, Facebook may automatically memorialize the account, or it could delete it.

A request from a loved one: Facebook requests documentation of death from friends and family members through an obituary or a death certificate.

How do I request Facebook to memorialize a page?

Follow these simple steps to ask Facebook to memorialize a page:

Visit the Memorialization Request page on Facebook at Special Request for Medically Incapacitated or Deceased Person’s Account | Facebook.  There is a simple to complete online form that Facebook provides.  After you fill out the form, click “Send” to see the digital legacy come to life.

The Bottom Line

Our digital world may be constantly changing, but Facebook has created a permanent place for friends and family to stay in touch while celebrating the lives of those who have passed away through memorialization. Understanding Facebook memorialization can help you plan for your digital afterlife and ensure that the accounts of your loved ones are respected. 

Mark Sunshine

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