Facebook: This is what really happens to your profile after you die

Would you like to keep your Facebook profile active after you die or have it deleted? Here we explain your options.

This is what happens to your Facebook profile after you die
© Joshua Hoehne / Unsplash
This is what happens to your Facebook profile after you die

Have you ever wondered what happens to your Facebook account after you die? Does it just continue to sit there forever dormant with the last post you ever made at the top of the feed? Does it eventually get deleted, along with all of your memories and photos?

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Well rest assured that your family and friends can actually memorialise your account when you die. However, ultimately it will be up to them to decide what to do with it.

How to memorialise a Facebook account

If you would like your Facebook page to remain, it can be memorialised. If you choose this option, the word 'remembering' will show up alongside your name. You can confirm this while you’re alive or family and friends can ask for this after you die.

This means any content shared by the deceased person will remain visible on Facebook and your loved ones will still be able to see photos, messages, posts, and comments.

It also means they can post a tribute or memory to the deceased person's Facebook account, depending on their privacy settings.

Memorialising an account means it won’t appear in suggestions, friends, birthday reminders, or ads.

If you would like to do this while you’re alive, you can ask for your account to be memorialised via Facebook, and they will review and get back to you.

You can choose a legacy contact, which is someone who will have access to your memorialised profile.

This individual can manage tribute posts to your profile, respond to friend requests, change your profile picture and cover photo, and also ask for the profile to be deleted.

But don't worry, they can't make posts appearing as the deceased person, or view private Facebook messages.

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How to delete a Facebook account

Facebook also enables users to delete accounts on the behalf of someone who has died.

Don’t forget that if you choose this option, all of the photos, messages, posts, and comments will be permanently deleted from Facebook.

Like memorialisation, you have to ask for an account to be deleted, unless the person who died did so already before they passed away.

Facebook requires documentation including proof of authority and proof the person is deceased in order to process the request.

You must submit one of the following: power of attorney, birth certificate (when the deceased is a minor), last will, and testament or estate letter – in addition to a death certificate, obituary, or memorial card.

Facebook advises all users to tell their loved ones what they would like to happen to their profile as soon as possible. It says:

Please bear in mind that memorialisation is a big decision. If you're not a family member or close friend of the person who has passed away, we recommend contacting the person's family before requesting memorialisation.

Sources used:

Mirror: 'People are only just realising what happens to your Facebook profile after you die'

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