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The social media website Facebook has recently announced a new feature called the “legacy contact” that allows its users to name a person to handle their account when they pass away. The legacy contact option is one example of many that show how companies that handle digital assets are making it easier for their users to manage these assets for estate planning purposes.

Estate Digital Assets

Digital assets comprise more of a person’s estate in the technological age. A digital asset is one that exists on the internet, hard drive, server, or in some other digital form. It includes social media websites, pictures, videos, music, emails, financial accounts, website subscriptions, and more. Most digital assets can only be accessed through the use of a username and password, which can make it difficult for your heirs to access these assets once you are gone.

Features of the Legacy Contact

Facebook’s legacy contact feature allows for an appointed person to access your Facebook account after you have died. The legacy contact is only allowed to access your social media page after official notice has been given to Facebook of your passing. Then, the legacy can write a post to display at the top of your Facebook timeline, respond to any new friend requests, and update the profile picture and cover photo. In addition, the legacy contact has the ability to download an archive of your photos, posts, and profile information that you shared on your social media page.

How to Name a Legacy Contact

You can name anyone as a legacy contact as long as they also have their own Facebook account. In order to name someone as your legacy contact, you must first log on to the Facebook website. Then go to the “Settings” option and click on “Security.” Scroll down to the “Legacy Contact” option and click on the “Choose a Friend” field. Then select the person that you want to have access to your account as your legacy contact.

You have the option to send that person a message immediately to let them know that they have been chosen as your legacy contact, or you can have Facebook notify that person after your passing. You can also check the “Data Archive Permission” box that will allow for your legacy contact to download all of the information and content from your account.

Once you have passed away, your legacy contact or someone else that you are close with will need to send a memorialization request to Facebook. Once the request is approved by the social media site, it will give access to your page to the legacy contact.

Call an Estate Planning Attorney

If you or a loved one has questions regarding digital assets or estate planning in Akron, Youngstown, Aurora, or Warren let the experienced attorney at The Law Office of John C. Grundy help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.