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Navigating Digital Legacy: Understanding and Setting Up Legacy Contacts

In our ever-connected world, where our lives are increasingly intertwined with the digital realm, the question of what happens to our online presence after we're gone has become more relevant than ever. As an ADHD coach, I've observed that many of my clients struggle with the intricacies of preparing for the end of life, particularly when it comes to ensuring that loved ones can access their digital legacy. Legacy contacts, a feature offered by platforms like Facebook, plays a pivotal role in managing our digital legacy responsibly. In this blog, we explore what legacy contacts are, why they matter, and how to set them up on Facebook and both iPhone and Android devices.

Understanding Legacy Contacts

What are Legacy Contacts? Legacy contacts are trusted individuals designated to manage your social media accounts in the event of your passing. While their access is limited, they can fulfill important responsibilities such as updating your profile picture, responding to friend requests, and even memorializing the account.

The Role of Legacy Contacts in End-of-Life Planning

One valuable lesson I've learned is the significance of legacy contacts in facilitating a seamless transition of your online presence to trusted individuals. Here's what I've discovered:

1.     Choosing a Trusted Legacy Contact: Identify someone close to you who understands the importance of your online connections. Opt for a person who is tech-savvy and capable of managing your digital legacy responsibly.

2.     Informing and Educating Your Legacy Contact: Communication is key. Take the time to explain to your chosen legacy contact what it entails and why it's essential. Share this blog or relevant resources to help them understand the process and their role in managing your digital legacy.

3.     Customizing Permissions: Platforms like Facebook allow you to customize permissions for your legacy contact. Clearly define what you want them to manage, whether it's memorializing your account or maintaining specific aspects of your profile.

Why Are They Important?
  1. Preserving Memories: Legacy contacts serve as custodians of your digital legacy, maintaining the content and memories shared on social media platforms.

  2. Support for Loved Ones: During times of grief, legacy contacts ease the burden on loved ones who may wish to access or memorialize the deceased person's social media presence.

Purple iphone

Setting Up Legacy Contacts on iPhone and Android

On iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and tap on "Passwords & Accounts."

  3. Under the "Account" section, select "Legacy Contact."

  4. Choose a contact from your list and grant them access.


On Android/ Google:

1.    Open your phone

2.    Sign into your Google account.

3.    Go to Google account settings.

4.    Click “Data & privacy” in the sidebar.

5.    Click More options.

6.    Select “Make a plan” for your digital legacy and click Start.

7.    Choose whether you want your Google account to be set as inactive after 3, 6, 12, or 18 months.


Setting Up a Legacy Contact on Facebook:

The Facebook legacy contact was designed to give loved ones a way to close or “memorialize” someone’s Facebook page with a label, but not post as them. The process for setting up a legacy contact on Facebook is as follows. Please note that Facebook's features and settings may have been updated since then, so it's a good idea to check the latest information on the Facebook Help Center or within the app.

  1. Log in to your Facebook account using your credentials.

  2. Go to Settings: Click on the downward-facing arrow in the top right corner of the Facebook page.

  3. Select "Settings & Privacy".

  4. In the left column, click on "Memorialization Settings" under the "General" category.

  5. Choose "Your Legacy Contact" section.

  6. Click on "Edit".

  7. Start typing the name of the friend you want to designate as your legacy contact. Choose the person from your friends' list.

  8. Adjust Permissions: Decide whether you want your legacy contact to be able to download an archive of your posts.

  9. You can also choose whether your legacy contact can see your friend list.

  10.  Once you've selected a legacy contact and adjusted the settings, click on "Send" to send a request to that friend.

  11. Your chosen legacy contact will receive a notification. Once they accept, they'll be able to manage aspects of your account in the event of your passing.

Who Needs Legacy Contacts?

Legacy contacts are valuable for various individuals:

  1. Parents and Caregivers: Especially relevant for those responsible for someone's digital presence.

  2. Individuals with Health Concerns: Those dealing with health issues, including mental health concerns, benefit from having a trusted person manage their online presence.

  3. Anyone with an Online Presence: In our increasingly digital world, almost everyone can benefit from appointing a legacy contact.

Beyond Facebook: Other Platforms and Considerations

While Facebook provides a structured system for legacy contacts, other platforms have different mechanisms:

  1. Google: Offers the "Inactive Account Manager" feature.

  2.  X (Twitter): Does not have a formal legacy contact system but provides a process for account deactivation.

  3. Instagram: Allows memorialization similar to Facebook.

  4. LinkedIn: Provides a process for reporting the death of a member.

Always check the specific policies of each platform, as they may evolve over time.

Why Act Now? Your Digital Legacy Awaits Your Guidance

As we explore the steps to secure your digital legacy, consider taking proactive steps today. Schedule a consultation meeting if you wish to delve deeper into ADHD coaching or end-of-life planning. Your future, both online and offline, is a canvas waiting for your direction.

Schedule Your Consultation Today: 

Your Influence Beyond Time

Empower your loved ones, ensure a lasting impact, and extend your influence even beyond your time through legacy contacts. By setting up a legacy contact on your device, you guarantee that your online legacy is managed responsibly. Communicate your decision, as they will receive notifications and need to be aware of their responsibilities. Stay informed, and remember, your future is now. Remember, as policies and features on these platforms may change, it's advisable to check the latest instructions on the respective help centers or apps for the most up-to-date information.

Act today for a tomorrow that echoes your legacy.

This content offers general information about ADHD and related topics for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical or legal advice. Consult a qualified healthcare provider or legal professional for advice on your specific situation. ADHDtime, futureforth, sponsors, partners, and advertisers disclaim any liability arising from the use of this content. 

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