Social Media

Facebook users can now appoint ‘heir’ to manage account when they die

legacy-contact_chooseBy Nixon Kanali / TechTrendsKE

For some time now, Facebook users have been wondering what happens to someone’s account when they pass on. What has been happening is, Facebook has been freezing the person’s page, something which some family members and friends have been objecting saying they wanted to maintain the pages with updates.

Facebook has now rolled out a feature that will allow users add heir to their account, meaning you will now be able to choose who you want to take over your account when you die, they could be family members or even friends

‘’Facebook is a place to share and connect with friends and family. For many of us, it’s also a place to remember and honor those we’ve lost’’ Vanessa Callison-Burch, Product Manager at Facebook said.

When a person passes away, their account can become a memorial of their life, friendships and experiences’’

Once someone lets Facebook know that a person has passed away, Facebook will memorialize the account and the legacy contact will be able to take over the page. The legacy contact will be able to write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message), he or she will also be able to respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook as well as update the profile picture and cover photo.

To activate the new feature, users can go to settings, then security and choose legacy contact which is available at the bottom of the page. From here they will then be able to nominate a person to manage their account in the event of death. The nominated heir will then receive a message saying you have chosen them to manage these accounts.

”We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos. We realised there was more we could do.” Callison-Burch added at the announcement of legacy contacts

Alternatively, users can let Facebook know if they’d prefer to have their Facebook account permanently deleted after death. The social media site says it is introducing legacy contacts in the US first and look forward to expanding to more countries.


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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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