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Legacy Contact: Determining the Afterlife of your Facebook Account

Facebook’s ‘Legacy Contact’ is an option on the social media network that allows users to designate who takes control of their private account after they die.

The function allows a trusted friend to write one last post on behalf of the deceased, as well as manage any friend requests and updates to the cover and profile photos and any archived content.

Before the introduction of this new feature, in the event of a Facebook user’s passing their account will carry on dormant. But with the new function, one digital heir may be chosen, as in a Will. This friend or relative will be unable to access private messages and information, but potentially manage the account to be left as a memorial – or deleted entirely, if they so wish.

In this sense, assigning a ‘Legacy Contact’ is similar to Writing a Will.

Now that the ‘Legacy Contact’ function has rolled out for UK Facebook users, it might seem a small matter to give serious thought to naming a digital heir, but for many the social media network is a lifeline of communication.

Recent statistics say that there 1.39 billion active monthly Facebook users, with 890 million users log in on a daily basis. Whether used for socialising, another means of communication, or a platform for networking and sharing news, for those of the 16 million local businesses creating pages since May 2013, an account’s number of friends and followers may be seen as a valuable asset.

To die without a Will can result in endless complications, including financial problems and, not least, emotional distress for your family. Writing a Will is a straightforward way of alleviating difficult decisions for your loved ones.

For an initial consultation call Slater and Gordon Will Writing Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.