Facebook has just announced the launch of its Legacy Contact feature in the UK, which allows users to give permission to someone else to manage their account when they die, and to post a final message on their behalf.

This new feature lets you choose someone to look after your account if it is ‘memorialised’. Once done your chosen legacy contact has limited control over your account and can do things on your behalf like:

• Share a final message from you with details about services etc.

• Respond to new friend requests

• Update profile and cover images

• They can also, if you wish, download what you’ve shared on Facebook.

But legacy contacts won’t be able to log into your account, remove or change your posts and pictures, read messages you sent or remove friends.

More information on this service can be found here.

Emma Myers, Head of Wills, Probate and Lifetime Planning for Saga Legal Services, commented:

Will (PD)We are delighted that Facebook has listened to us and finally made its Legacy Contact feature available in the UK. Other social media sites and websites that retain content about users should follow Facebook’s move and put procedures in place to protect someone’s digital legacy – the digital content you leave behind when you pass away.”

“The digital world is not yet intuitive enough to realise when you’ve passed away and that means everything which happens automatically will continue. So, when your birthday occurs, your loved ones could potentially be faced with a heartrending reminder of your death in the form of a social media page encouraging them to wish you a happy birthday.”

“With that in mind, we are urging online users to prepare their digital legacy before it’s too late. Saga Legal Services has created a free Online Directory which can be used to specify what you want to happen to each account. This is designed to be stored alongside your Will and acts a map to all your digital accounts making sure your family or executors are able to find them easily.

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