End of Life Planning

What happens to my Facebook account when I die?

By Erin McCune . May 17, 2021

Ten or twenty years ago this would have been a strange question but now many of us are spending more time connecting virtually these days, sharing photos, stories, and memories on social media. So, what happens to your legacy and followers when you pass away; and what precautions do you and your next of kin need to take.

Photo via Pixabay

The site with the most options today is Facebook, which allows you to designate a legacy contact. When Facebook becomes aware that you’ve passed away, your account will automatically become Memorialized, which changes your name to reflect that your page is “remembering” you, and no one can log in directly to your account. Your named legacy contact will be able to make certain changes:

  • Pin a tribute post to the profile
  • Change the profile photo and cover photo
  • Respond to new friend requests (they cannot remove friends)
  • Untag photos of you
  • Decide who can see and post tributes

How do you designate a Facebook legacy contact? Visit Settings & Privacy > Settings > Memorialization Settings > (Choose your friend) > Add > Send (to notify them)

Getting Organized

Not surprisingly, the best thing you can do is designate a digital executor, someone responsible for your online life when you’re no longer there. However, social media platforms vary dramatically in how much control you can have over your digital estate. 

As you’ve seen here, access to many social media sites will depend on your loved ones having access to their usernames & passwords. Providing clear and updated instructions is now more important than ever. Don’t accidentally lock your loved ones out of your online life! Fill out our Legacy Worksheet and appoint your Digital Executor today with!


Rachel Sommer

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