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Task: Digital Accounts: Facebook

This article on personal planning is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

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There are other more important services than Facebook, but with 2.41 billion users -- many of them even real humans -- it carries a lot of weight.

Photo Credit: Ink-Drop/Shutterstock.com

It’s also become a major source of single sign-on -- when you use your Facebook account to login to other sites so you don’t have to create a new set of credentials.

Facebook has also become the hub for millions of people’s online identity, and a modern phonebook without the need for a phone. You can pretty much get in touch with anyone at any time, as long as they regularly check Facebook. It’s possible that Facebook and its Messenger app could be just as important as a primary email account.

Memorialization & Naming A Legacy Contact

After a death, memorializing a Facebook account has become the standard treatment. Anything the deceased posted is still visible; depending on the settings, a “Remembering” badge is added to the profile, and friends can still add memories and comments on their wall. When you appoint a “Legacy Contact” that person can update the main photo, respond to friend requests (but can’t add new friends), and include a pinned post to the top of the profile (example: a final message). They can’t access any messages, which are kept private. To have full access, a person would need the login information.

Instructions To Delete

If you want to remain virtually visible to the world, take the memorialization and Legacy Contact path. If you want it deleted the way Facebook suggests, name a Legacy Contact and select the option that you want your account deleted. If you want to do it unofficially, give the person in charge of your digital estate your login info and have them delete it the same way you would if you were still alive. If you have Two-Step Verification enabled, which is when a code is sent to your phone as an added layer of security, this person would need access to your email and phone to complete the process.

Warning: Time might not be on your side: While Facebook has been working to make the process better, there’s a chance anyone can submit a memorialization request and make it a huge pain to get it un-memorialized. It’s sometimes done by a person who may not have even been close to the deceased. They just want to play TMZ and break the news on a death without even considering what the family or close friends may be going through. If this happens to you, your family will be at the mercy of Facebook, so beware.

Your Task

If you’re a heavy Facebook user, go here to set up your Legacy Contact. If you want to keep it unofficial you’ll have to share your login credentials with someone you trust. If you use a password manager you can write it directly in the notes field, if you use a digital document you can put it there, and last but not least you can put it in the Digital Accounts section of your Everplan.

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