What happens to Facebook when someone dies?

Social media sites like Facebook are so important to us that taking care of a loved one’s account when they pass on is really important to some people. So what happens to your Facebook account when you die?


Memorialising the account

Getting access to someone’s Facebook account after they’ve passed away is possible but you will need to log the user’s death with the site. There’s a procedure to follow which Facebook calls “Memorialising the account”. What this basically means is that your loved one’s Facebook page remains in place as an area in which friends and family can share their memories and stories of the person who passed away. This process also helps you to secure the user’s site from anyone else logging in and altering the content.


When you make Facebook aware that the person’s passed away, it’s their policy to automatically memorialise the account. There’s a full breakdown of how that’s done on facebook.com/help but we’ll also run you through the process here. Facebook won’t give login details to anyone when the loved one’s page has been memorialised so that’s something to bear in mind before you contact the site. Of course, it’s against the site’s policy for anyone to log into someone else’s account but it happens. To make this happen, just get in touch with the site.

What happens to the loved one’s Facebook page?

Several things happen. The word “Remembering” is shown next to the person’s name. Friends are allowed to share their memories on the Timeline. The content that the user was sharing remains visible to those who were able to view it before. Your loved one’s page won’t appear in public spaces like “People You May Know”. As we said before, no one will ever be able to log into the page.

Legacy contacts

Facebook also make it possible for the loved one’s site to have a Legacy Contact. This person can look after the account when it’s been memorialised. They can write a pin post for the profile, respond to new friend requests and update the profile picture and cover photo. If you feel that someone should look after your page when you’re gone, log in and go to settings. Then choose Security followed by Legacy Contact. Now you add your friend’s name to give them these limited but important rights in the event that you pass away.

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