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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Ferraro

What happens to your Facebook after you die?

The global pandemic and stay-at-home mandates forced our society to communicate, transact, learn and operate online. The result of this period is that almost everyone now has a digital life and footprint.

 

To this day, Facebook remains the 3rd most visited website in the world. Studies completed in April 2023 indicate that 81.5% of Australia’s population had a Facebook account. Recent years have also indicated a higher mortality rate than ever before - so what happens to your profile when you die?

 

Are people indefinitely forced to remove your account from the “People You May Know” section or worse - block grandma because seeing her face appear on your profile is too painful when you’re just trying to mindlessly scroll after a long day in the office?

 

Mark Zuckerberg has considered the issue of your digital trace after death and ultimately, you can decide what happens to your Facebook account after you pass away. 

 

Memoralised Profile

 

A memoralised profile is a place for friends, family - and everyone you went to high school with - to gather and share memories after a person has passed away. If you decide to memoralise your profile after death, you need to appoint a legacy contact.

 

Your legacy contact is the person appointed to look after your memoralised account. Your legacy contact can:

 

  • Manage your account;

  • Write a pinned post;

  • Respond to new friend requests; and 

  • Update the profile picture and cover photo of your account.

 

Don’t worry though, your legacy contact doesn’t have complete access to your page! They won’t be able to read those late night “U up?” messages or offend your parents by unfriending them on April Fools.

 

To memoralise your profile, you need to add your legacy contact and nominate that person in your will. Your will also needs to provide the individual with control over your online account.

 

Deleting your account

 

You can also choose to permanently delete your account upon your death. Once Facebook is notified of your passing, all of your messages, photos, posts, comments, reactions and information will be immediately and permanently removed from Facebook.

 

To manage your preferences, access your Settings page on Facebook and follow the prompts. 

 

To get started organising your will and estate planning, contact a member of our estate planning team on (03) 9311 8911.

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