Here’s What Happens to Your Facebook Account After You Die

The Facebook Inc. logo is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPad Air in this arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Facebook Inc. is expected to release earnings data on Jan. 29. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New policy allows one last post after your death. Facebook just made death a little less scary.

Facebook announced Thursday a policy that allows you to designate a “legacy contact,” who’ll be allowed to “pin a post on your Timeline” after your death, such as a funeral announcement. The contact won’t be able to log in as you or read your private messages, but will be allowed to respond to new friend requests, update your cover and profile photos, archive your Facebook posts and photos.

Before, the Facebook profiles of the deceased could only be “memorialized,” deleted or left unchanged after friends or family reported the deaths. Memorializing the profile involves freezing the account, which then no longer appears in searches or public notifications like birthdays, and can be viewed only by the user’s friends.

Here’s how to designate your legacy contact: go to Security and click on “Legacy Contact,” where you’ll be able to select one of your Facebook friends. You’ll also be given the option to send them a pre-written message (which you can edit) that provides information about the policy. Otherwise, the contact will be notified only when your death has been reported to Facebook, and your account is memorialized.