What Happens to Your Facebook Profile After You Pass Away?

What Happens to Your Facebook Profile After You Pass Away?

Millions of people across the country regularly use social networks to keep in touch with friends and family members. Facebook has become especially popular with people of all ages — including senior citizens — as a means of sharing photos, memories, events and more.

Over the years, your Facebook account has likely collected a significant amount of correspondence with friends and family, along with photos you have shared with others and that others have shared with you. What happens to these digital assets and memories when you pass away? You have two main options:

1. Delete the account

If you wish to delete the account entirely, you can leave instructions in your estate plan for your personal representative to access your account and delete it. Be sure to provide login information. There is a way that users can download an archive of all their Facebook data when deleting their profile, so if this is something you would like your personal representative to do, make sure you say so in your estate plan.

2. Memorialize the account

Several years ago, Facebook introduced a new option for deceased account holders: memorialization. If you pass away, a friend or family member can submit a request to Facebook to memorialize your account, which essentially freezes it. The person submitting the request will need to provide proof of your death.

In memorial status, photos and posts you shared will be visible, but no one will be able to log into the account. In your estate plan, you can name a legacy contact who is the caretaker of your memorialized account. This person may respond to friend requests, write pinned posts and update your cover photo and profile picture, but will not be able to log into your account to delete anything.

Facebook and other social networks have become an everyday part of our lives, so it’s important to consider what happens to these accounts after we’re no longer here. To learn more about this process, work with a trusted Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.