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What to Do With a Facebook Account After Someone Passes [Series]

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what_to_do_with_facebookThe following is part of our series about what to do with a social media account after a death. Each post will comprehensively feature a different social media platform. This is the first post, and we invite you to check back for the next post in the series.

Following the death of a loved one, there are a number of tasks surviving family members need to tackle.

Along with planning final arrangements, managing your loved one’s financial accounts and social profiles is also important. Most social media platforms, like Facebook, offer clear action plans for an account after an individual passes, so it’s important for you and your family to understand the policies.

For more information on what you can do with a Facebook account after a death, continue reading below.

Request the Memorialization of an Account

Facebook allows surviving family members and friends to request the memorialization of an account.

Memorialized accounts are a place for survivors to remember the person who passed away. Memorializing an account keeps it secure by preventing anyone from logging into it.

Once memorialized, the account will display the following:

  • The word “Remembering” next to the person’s name on their profile.
  • Shared memories on the timeline from family members and friends.
  • Content the person shared, such as posts and photos. This stays on Facebook and is visible to the audience it’s shared with.

memorialized_facebook

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The account will not appear in public places, such as in suggestions for people you may know, as well as birthday reminders.

To request memorialization of a profile, contact Facebook. You’ll need to include the following information in your request:

  • The deceased’s Facebook profile URL link.
  • The date of their death.
  • Documentation of their death, such as a photo of the obituary, death certificate, memorial card or other form of documentation confirming they passed away.
  • Your email address.

Facebook will then review the request and either approve or deny it.

Request the Removal of an Account

Another option is to delete the account. You can’t regain access to an account once it’s deleted.

To do so, Facebook needs documentation to confirm you’re an immediate family member or executor of the account holder.

The fastest way for Facebook to process this request is for you to provide a scan or photo of your loved one’s death certificate. If you don’t have the death certificate, you’ll need to provide proof of authority using any of the following documents:

  • Power of attorney.
  • Birth certificate
  • Last will and testament.
  • Estate letter.

You’ll also need to provide proof of the death. Facebook accepts the following documents when deleting an account:

  • Obituary.
  • Memorial card.

The documentation you provide must match the information on your loved one’s account. When submitting documentation, make sure to cover up any personal information, such as a Social Security number.

Once you have the required documents, send Facebook a request for the removal of the account.

Are You a Legacy Contact?

Facebook encourages users to plan ahead for their own death by appointing an individual responsible for handling their account. This is called a legacy contact, or someone who looks after the account if it’s memorialized.

If your loved one appointed a legacy contact, that person will be able to make decisions about the account. They can:

  • Write a pinned post for the deceased’s profile, such as sharing a final message or providing information about services.
  • View posts.
  • Decide who can see and post tributes.
  • Delete tribute posts.
  • Change who can see posts that the deceased is tagged in.
  • Remove tags of the deceased that someone else has posted.
  • Respond to new friend requests.
  • Update the profile picture and cover photo.
  • Request the removal of the account.
  • Turn off the requirement to review posts and tags before they appear in the tributes section.
  • Download a copy of what you’ve shared on Facebook, if this feature is turned on.

A legacy contact can’t:

  • Login to the deceased’s account.
  • Read messages.
  • Remove friends, or make new friend requests.

If you’re a legacy contact, click here to learn how to manage a memorialized profile.

Plan Ahead For Your Family—Download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements

Organizing financial accounts and social profiles is just one part of the preplanning process. And while preplanning final arrangements may seem overwhelming, it protects your loved ones from sudden financial burdens and stressful decisions after you pass. To learn more about the benefit of preplanning, download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements to learn how preplanning can save you and your family time, money and worry.

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Editor's Note: The following is part of our series about what to do with a social media account after a death. Each post will feature a different social media platform. This is the first post, and we invite you to check back for the next post in the series.

Jim Busch
Jim Busch
Owner and president of our firm. Fourth generation funeral director and certified crematory operator, Jim is guided by his principles in faith, family and friends. He loves to hear feedback from our families. Proudly serving Busch families since 1986.
 

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