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(Pocket-lint) - Thinking about your digital legacy after you die is something most people are starting to do, no matter how morbid it sounds.

Facebook is one of the few services available that have an established way of dealing with account management in the event of a user's death, though Apple also offer it. The idea is that a Facebook user can set an executor of sorts, officially known as a legacy contact, who will have limited access to their account. This will allow them to tie up the account and leave it there as a memorial of the person's life.

So, how do you ready your account for that inevitable day? And what will happen when it's set to go? Here's what you need to know.

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What happens to your Facebook after death?

Your Facebook account can be deleted after death, or it can be memorialised with a legacy contact appointed as an account manager.

Memorialise your account

A memorialised Facebook account shows the word "Remembering" next to the person's name on their profile. Depending on the privacy settings of the account, friends can still share memories on the memorialised profile, and content that the person shared remains visible to the audience it was shared with originally. Most importantly, no one can log into a memorialised account, and without a legacy contact, it can't be changed.

What is a Facebook legacy contact?

A legacy contact is someone you can choose to manage your account if it's memorialised. They must be 18 years or older and a Facebook user.

If you add a legacy contact, they can:

  1. Write a pinned post for your profile, like share a final message on your behalf.
  2. View posts, even if you had set your privacy to Only Me.
  3. Decide who can see and post tributes, if the account has an area for tributes.
  4. Delete tribute posts.
  5. Change who can see posts that you're tagged in.
  6. Remove tags of you that someone else has posted.
  7. Respond to new friend requests, like old family members who weren't yet on Facebook.
  8. Update your profile picture and cover photo.
  9. Request the removal of your account.
  10. Turn off the requirement to review posts and tags before they appear in the tributes section if you had timeline review turned on.
  11. Download a copy of what you've shared on Facebook if you have this feature turned on.

So, by choosing a person to have access to your Facebook account after death, you're not leaving your deepest secrets to them. Access is limited.

If you add a legacy contact, they can't:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Read your messages.
  3. Remove any of your friends or make new friend requests.
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How to appoint a Facebook legacy contact

You can add or remove a legacy contact in your account settings at any time.

To add a legacy contact:

  1. Click the drop-down arrow in the top right of Facebook and click Settings.
  2. Select Settings & privacy, then click Settings.
  3. Click Memorialisation settings.
  4. Type in a friend's name in Choose a friend and click Add.
  5. To let your friend know they're now your legacy contact, click Send.

Note: To change or remove a legacy contact, follow steps 1-2 above, then click Remove. From there, you can add a new legacy contact if you'd like.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Britta O'Boyle.