The primary and most effective method is to designate that access by a Facebook user as a legacy contact. Legacy Contact can decide whether the Account is memorialized and who may have access to post Tributes and view Content.
An account is memorialized by Facebook to allow family and friends to view posts and pay tributes about the deceased. Without a legacy contact, accounts are automatically memorialized when Facebook is alerted of a user’s death. Facebook won’t provide a password, so the memorialized account will remain that way until it’s deleted. In fact, even someone with the password can’t access it at this point.
To deny access and delete the page one has to provide proof of authority with a will, property letter or power of attorney. This removal effectively removes all content on the Facebook page. Some data may remain in Facebook’s system, but it is no longer associated with the initial user. To prevent this from happening it is important that the person interested in the content is made aware of that interest before it is removed. This may require legal representation.
How to Access a dead person’s Facebook
Some families overlook the task of deciding what to do with their deceased family member’s social media accounts. Some family members choose to keep their loved one’s accounts active, while others don’t want the annual birthday reminder or the stress of risking their loved one’s account hacked.
You can’t pinpoint a right or wrong way to handle this situation. However, immediate family members must decide what to do. Regardless of what you choose, you may need to know how to access a deceased person’s Facebook account. Let us help you with that process.
What happens to a Facebook account when someone dies?
Three things can happen to your loved one’s Facebook account after death. Let’s consider your choices so that you and your family can make the right decision about your loved one’s Facebook page.
- Facebook account can remain active
Facebook doesn’t search accounts looking for dead users. This means that if your loved one dies with an active Facebook account, their Page and its content may continue to exist indefinitely.
This means their friends and connections can visit their page and post to their timeline. It also means that friends and loved ones can post memories and photos and tag their loved one. Your loved one’s friends will receive a birthday reminder for your deceased family member, and your loved one will continue to “age” on the Facebook account. Friends can still send texts and photos through the Messenger app.
You can feel comfortable visiting your loved one’s Facebook page, and you can still like comments and previous posts on your account.
- You can make Facebook account memorable
Facebook friends can still see your loved one’s photos and posts if the account becomes memorable. The account will say “remember”, along with the name of your loved one.
Memorized accounts won’t appear in birthday reminders or “people you know” suggestions. An inheritance contact can look after the deceased family member’s account. This person can’t post in your loved one’s name, but can complete the other tasks outlined in the next section of this article.
- You Can Disable the Facebook Account
People can delete their accounts once Facebook learns of their death. Family members can also choose to permanently delete the account.
This means that all photos, posts, comments and messages are removed from Facebook. Consider this option carefully as you cannot restore the account after making the final decision.
Talk to all of your family members before deciding how to handle your loved one’s Facebook account. Some of your family members may be devastated by their family member’s comments being permanently removed from their posts. It is best if all parties involved agree.
How to access a loved one’s Facebook account if you are a legacy contact?
Some people prepare for the event of their death by assigning a legacy contact to their Facebook account. This person can manage tributes on the profile, delete posts and remove tags. They can also respond to new friend requests and update the deceased’s profile picture and cover photo.
If you have been selected as the legacy contact for someone, you will receive a notification. At this point, you can choose whether to accept this responsibility. As long as your loved one is alive, you will not have access to your loved one’s account. You may not necessarily have access to your loved one’s login and password, unless your loved one chooses to share that information with you.
Once your loved one has died, you (or another Facebook friend) can request a memorial account through Facebook. Facebook will accept several documents as proof of your loved one’s death. Scan a copy of the death certificate, obituary or commemorative card and submit it to Facebook. At this point, the old contact will gain access to the account, or the account will be deleted, depending on the setting chosen by the deceased.
How to access a loved one’s Facebook account if you are not a Legacy contact?
Maybe your loved ones died unexpectedly or didn’t know they could hire a friend to take control of their account after they died. If this happens, it may be more difficult for you to access these accounts after death, but it is not impossible.
You might consider using your loved one’s computer or phone to see if your loved one’s password manager will give you access to the account. If you can log in to the account, you can delete the profile or make any changes as you deem appropriate. Keep in mind that whenever you post something while logged in as your loved one, the recipient may be shocked to receive messages under your loved one’s name.
Instead, you may decide that requesting a memorable account through Facebook is your best course of action.
Send account memorialization request via Facebook. You will need to provide some proof that your loved one has passed, either by submitting a scanned copy of the death certificate, obituary, or a commemorative card.
After doing so, if there are no old contacts in the account, you will need to prove that you have the authority to make decisions regarding the account. You can do this by scanning a power of attorney, last will and testament, an estate letter, as well as proof that you are a family member of the deceased.
At this time, you can delete the account or make it a memorable account that no one can access.
Some families choose to delete a loved one’s accounts, knowing that the content will be permanently deleted. Then, they can open a new account for the purpose of remembering the deceased and sharing the memories.
Make things easier for your loved ones by planning your end-of-life events
If you’ve ever had to unexpectedly plan a loved one’s funeral, you know it can feel overwhelming. In addition to grieving the loss of your family member, you will also need to make decisions about burial or cremation without knowing what your loved one’s wishes may be.
Make things easier for your loved ones by leaving clear funeral plans and a will or trust. Share where you want to be buried and even the color of the coffin you like. Choose the songs for your funeral and choose the flowers you want to display.
Once you have made all your important decisions, go to your Facebook account settings and decide on your profile. Select a legacy contact or choose whether you want your account to be deleted after you die. Taking all these decisions will make life easier for your loved ones.
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