Facebook has introduced a new feature today that allows users to select a legacy contact, who will be able to manage their account after they pass away. Once Facebook has been notified of a user passing away, the social network will 'memorialize' the account and enable access to the legacy contact who can manage the profile.
Once everything is configured, this contact will be able to announce a memorial service (or share a personal message) on the top of the Timeline, respond to new friend requests, update profile and cover photos, and even download an archive of photos, posts and profile information that person shared on Facebook. Note that personal messages will be off limits and the legacy contact is unable to log in as the deceased.
The legacy contacts feature is currently rolling out in the US to begin with and Facebook will expand the rollout to more countries over time. If you'd rather not have someone access your profile once you've passed away, you can simply have Facebook delete your account altogether.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.