Facebook can prepare you for a safe digital death by following these rules

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You can prepare your social media accounts for after you're gone

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Turning off someone's Facebook page after they've died could save you from some painful reminders further down the line. Our social media accounts hold so much personal information and, with regular memories and birthday reminders popping up, it may be best not to leave them idle once a loved one has passed away.

But even if you're well versed in looking after your own profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you may not know how to turn off someone else's account if you've never had to do it.

Requesting a switch-off

An important point to note about Facebook is that switching off someone’s account is not the only option - it can also be memorialised.

If you are set on removing your loved one’s account though, you’ll need to prove you're an immediate family member or executor of the account holder. Facebook states the fastest way to do this is to scan and send their death certificate.

If you don’t have this, you can submit one of the following to prove your authority:

⦁ Power of attorney

⦁ Birth certificate

⦁ Last will and testament

⦁ Estate letter

One of the following will also need to be submitted for proof of death:

⦁ Obituary

⦁ Memorial card

You can submit a request to Facebook via this link.

You can make changes to your own social media accounts for after you've gone

How do I memorialise an account?

With so many photos stored on Facebook, you may not like the idea of deleting all of those precious memories.

Memorialising an account can instead turn an account into a place for family and friends to share memories.

Once Facebook is informed of an account holder’s passing, the word 'remembering' will show next to their name.

One important difference with a memorialised account is that no one will be allowed to log into it. It also won’t show in 'suggested friends' notifications, and it won't send birthday reminders.

Pages, where the sole admin is an account that’s been memorialised, will also be deleted.

While no one can log into the account, it can be looked after by someone else providing they’ve been added as a legacy contact - someone is given permission to manage the account.

Legacy contacts are able to write a pinned post for the memorialised profile, respond to new friend requests, and update the profile picture and cover photo.

You can send a memorialisation request here.

What are my options for my own account?

You may not have thought about what happens to your account after your own death, but Facebook allows you to prepare for this.

You can assign legacy contacts to manage your memorialised account after you're gone with the following steps:

⦁ Go to your settings under the Settings & Privacy tab

⦁ Click on memorialisation settings.

⦁ Type in a friend's name and then click add.

⦁ To let your friend know they're now your legacy contact, click send.

Your legacy contact will be notified if your account becomes memorialised.

You can also choose to have your account permanently deleted should you pass away, and if someone informs Facebook of your death, all of your messages, photos, posts, comments, reactions and information will be immediately and permanently removed.

Again, this option can be found in your Settings & Privacy tab. Scroll down and click to request that your account be deleted after you pass away and click to delete after death.

Instagram accounts can be deleted or memorialised after a death

What about Twitter and Instagram?

Like Facebook, accounts on Instagram can either be deleted or memorialised. Opting to memorialise means no one can log into the account and it won’t appear in certain places on the app, like Explore.

While all of the user’s photos and videos will stay on Instagram, no one will be able to make any changes including the profile photo.

To request an account to be memorialised, submit this form to Instagram.

You can also get in touch to ask that the account is deleted. You’ll need to provide proof that you're immediate family or in charge of the estate.

Similarly, Twitter only allows those with the required proof to request an account is deleted - those in charge of the estate or immediate family.

Once you’ve contacted Twitter, they’ll be in touch to ask for details including information about the deceased, a copy of their death certificate, and a copy of your ID. Providing this evidence is to help prevent any false reports of death.

For funeral notices in your area visit funeral-notices.co.uk.