If you’re in the US and recently bereaved you’re ok when it comes to Facebook. You can manage your loved one’s account after they’re gone. Specifically, you can be a “legacy contact” (if your loved one designated you as such) and can take control of key aspects of the account after their death.
The legacy contact can do the following things:
Change the dead person’s profile picture and cover photo
Write a special post that will be pinned to the top of his or her timeline (e.g., a memorial service announcement)
Accept friend requests from real-life friends and family who weren’t connected to the deceased on Facebook
All of this is detailed by Will Oremus @WillOremus, Slate’s senior technology writer in his report on Facebook’s announcement of its new settings. These include giving every Facebook user the option to have their account permanently deleted when they die.
This was really badly needed as Oremus points out. “Until now, there has been no way to manage a dead person’s Facebook account—and no way to tell Facebook what you want to happen to yours when you’re gone.”
Now there is, but as of last week, the “legacy contacts” feature was available only in the United States. The www isn’t that worldwide in a hurry.