In an age of rapid modernisation, most of us are acquiring digital assets at an alarming rate. While Facebook is a place to connect with friends and family, it is also a means of storing large amounts of information and very importantly, memories.
Your Facebook account may have more sentimental value than you even realise, particularly after you pass away. Many people's Facebook accounts become memorialised after they pass away however until recently; this was difficult for loved ones left behind because the law of privacy did not reflect the needs of modern society.
Facebook have however introduced a ‘legacy’ feature. This has been available in the US for sometime and was introduced in the UK in February. This new feature will allow someone to manage your account after you pass away. After you have passed, this contact will let Facebook know and will then be able to do the following:
- Write a final pinned post to share the date of any memorial service or to share a special message.
- Respond to friend requests
- Update profile picture and cover photo
All other settings will remain the same prior to your account being memorialised.
It is also possible to give your legacy contact specific permission to download and archive your photos, videos, posts and any profile information you have shared on Facebook. However, your legacy contact will not be able to log in as if they were you or access any of your private messages.
If you, however, do not wish to leave your Facebook account in the hands of someone else, you may request that it be permanently deleted after your death.
Considering what will happen to your digital assets when you pass away is becoming increasingly important. Email accounts, social media accounts, online bank accounts and even your iTunes music library each has different rules outlining what will happen to them when you pass.
The Law Society have urged people to include when they are making their will, details of any digital assets they may have and also the means to access the assets such as password details. This will make dealing with your digital assets much easier for your loved ones after you pass away.
Here at Unlock the Law we have created a guide to Digital Legacies to help you understand more about how you can make sure your digital assets are dealt with properly.
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