Declare A Facebook Heir Before You Die

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With technology constantly evolving, Facebook has announced you can still keep your online persona after you die, reports USA Today. Even better, before you pass away you can declare who will become your Facebook heir. Your heir will be your Facebook estate executor and manage your account after you die. Users can decide who will be their heir or “legacy contact.” That particular person will be able to respond to new friend requests, update your cover photos and profile. They can also archive your Facebook posts and photos.

If you are not interested a Facebook heir, Facebook can also memorialize your account. It can only be viewed but not edited or managed; Facebook’s product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch also said: “We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos. We realized there was more we could do.”

Since an increase of social media accounts, few states have created laws that give authority over digital assets. Virginia decreed in 2013 for parents or guardians to take control of their child’s online accounts after the child becomes deceased. In January, a Zogby poll examined adults who were concerned about what will happen to their social media pages after they die. The poll uncovered, 71 percent of 1,012 adults who wanted their online communications to remain private, unless they gave consent prior to their death. 43 percent of that same polled group desired their online accounts to be deleted, unless they not someone can access it until after they are dead.

In order to set up your Legacy contact, go to your profile icon and click on “Settings.” Then choose “security” and click on the “Legacy Contact” option at the bottom of the page. To see how Facebook’s feature works, I choose my cousin and if I die she will be able to download what I have shared on Facebook (which includes statuses, photos, videos and about section info). Since I’m an active Facebook user, that would be a lot of information. However, she would not be able to download my private messages.

Personally, I think once I am no longer here I would want my profile to be deleted. I watched the “Be Right Back” episode of the British series Black Mirrors where a woman used a company that “brought” her dead partner back from the dead via phone calls and even eventually mailed her a clone-like replica of him. What intrigued me about the episode was, her partner only responding to her with the phrases he used online. Although she received a chance to still be connected to the love of her life, things were different.

Would you want your social media page to be active after you die? Chime in the conversation and check out the Black Mirror’s episode below.

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