What happens to Facebook profile after the user's death?

Facebook has 2.9 billion users worldwide, and it is logical that there are a number of profiles that became inactive after a person’s death. Did you know that you can choose what will happen to your profile after you die?

What happens to Facebook profile after the user's death?

Photo Credits: Shutterstock

There are several options related to maintaining a profile when a death occurs. If no one notifies Facebook that the person is no longer alive, nothing will change.

A family member or friend can request that the profile be "memorialized". This means that it becomes "frozen", but that others can find it by searching. If there is a selected contact person, they will have limited access to the profile.

You can choose to have your profile deleted in the event of death. The family or someone else may also request deletion. A user can give someone their password during their lifetime so that person can continue to post. Aside from sounding morbid, this is a violation of Facebook’s rules.

As you have probably guessed, most users choose to delete the profile. In second place is the "save" option. However, keep in mind that both options require relatives and acquaintances to provide a death certificate.

This can be through a power of attorney, a birth certificate, a will, or a letter of intent to buy real estate. There is also a simpler option: scan or photograph the death certificate and send a request to delete the profile.

It will take Facebook about 90 days to delete everything the deceased posted. The messages he sent to the people on their friends list cannot be completely deleted, but remain in their archive forever.

What is a legacy contact?

“Legacy contact” is someone who is authorized by a Facebook user to manage his “memorialized” profile after they die.  Anyone can choose legacy contact. This person can:

  • change profile photo
  • change the cover photo
  • pin or "attach" a tribute post
  • decide who can see and post tribute posts on the profile
  • delete tribute posts that he deems inappropriate
  • request profile deletion
  • view all posts (but not private messages) regardless of security settings
  • download a copy of the data on Facebook (if you select this option).

They cannot:

  • log in to your profile
  • delete or edit posts, photos, and other things you have shared
  • read private messages
  • delete friends or add new ones
  • add a new legacy contact

How to select or delete a legacy contact or profile

You can select Legacy contact as follows:

  • Settings & Privacy
  • Settings
  • Account ownership and control
  • Memorialization settings
  • Choose legacy contact

You can change the legacy contact at any time or delete it. Under memorialization settings, you can also request the deletion of the profile in case of death. Note: Someone will still need to notify Facebook that you have passed away and send a death certificate, which we mentioned earlier.

By: Sarah R.