Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Brits can now nominate ‘heirs’ for Facebook after they die

Facebook has started rolling out its ‘legacy contacts’ feature in the UK, letting British users nominate an ‘heir’ to manage their profiles after they’ve died.

The new feature, which has been available in the US since February, helps turn the profiles of the deceased into memorial pages.

That’s probably a good thing – with 1.44 billion monthly active users, it’s guaranteed that Facebook will eventually double as an online graveyard whether its creators like it or not.

Nominated users will be able to write one last post on a page, as well as update the cover photo, profile photo, and approve new friend requests, as noted by The Telegraph.

Users can also give their “online executor” the ability to download an archive of everything the deceased individual has ever shared on Facebook.

But that’s it. Privacy and audience settings will stay the same, and heirs won’t be able to log in as a person or see their private messages.

“Facebook is a place to share and connect with friends and family,” says Vanessa Callison-Burch, product manager at Facebook. “For many of us, it’s also a place to remember and honour those we’ve lost.”

She adds: “When a person passes away, their account can become a memorial of their life, friendships, and experiences.”

Related: Best Web Browser 2015

To nominate an heir, go to settings, then choose ‘security’, then ‘legacy contact’, and choose a friend.

The friend will have to submit proof of death to actually take over an account – that’s to weed out spurious claims.

If being immortalised on Facebook gives you the jitters, it’s worth noting that you can also task the website with permanently destroying your account post-death.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.