How to Close or Memorialize Facebook Account When a Person Dies

Facebook provides option of memorializing / freezing account of a user who is no more. A friend or a relative of the deceased person can approach Facebook for this.
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More than a billion people are using Facebook (FB) and a lot of them are so much into social networking that Facebook virtually has become their second home. People have emotional attachment to their Facebook account, profile, their Facebook friends and followers.

In such a scenario, if the Facebook account holder dies, it might turned out to be emotionally or practically important to close his/her Facebook account. Recognizing this, Facebook does provide options to deal with such a situation. A friend or a relative can get the Facebook account of a deceased person memorialized.

What are the Features of a Memorialized Facebook Account?

When a person passes away, Facebook can memorialize their account to protect their privacy. Here are some of the key features of memorialized accounts:

  • No one can log into a memorialized account and no new friends can be accepted
  • Depending on the privacy settings of the deceased person’s account, friends can share memories on the memorialized timeline
  • Anyone can send private messages to the deceased person
  • Content the deceased person shared (ex: photos, posts) remains on Facebook and is visible to the audience it was shared with
  • Memorialized timelines don’t appear in People You May Know and other suggestions

How to Tell Facebook that a Person is No More

Facebook has provided an online form to report that a Facebook account holder is now deceased. It’s a small, easy to fill form which asks you to provide name of the deceased person, URL of the timeline, your name, your relationship with the deceased, your email and most importantly, a proof of death. Proof of death could be a link to a webpage where an obituary or relevant news article has been published.

This form could be accessed here.

Unmemorialize a Facebook Account that has been Wrongly memorialized

There could be instances that someone plays a nasty trick and mislead Facebook into memorializing an account whose owner is still alive! Facebook can unmemorialize such an account if the account holder can prove his/her identity.

To get a memorialized account back, the victim of foul play can fill this form and get their account back.

Can I Get a Copy of Content of an Account Whose Owner has Died?

Yes, you can. But it’s not a straightforward process. You’ll have to get a court order and prove to Facebook that you are representative of the deceased person. It’s a lengthy process.

Can I Create a Facebook Account/Profile for a Person Who is No More?

As a tribute or remembrance, people sometimes want to create a Facebook profile for a person who has died. But Facebook does not allow you to create such a profile. Instead you can create a Facebook Page for such a purpose. Click here to know the difference between a Facebook profile and a page.

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