After you die, you can now leave someone in charge of your Facebook account. On February 12, Facebook announced a new policy for creating Legacy pages. Stories on NPR, Time and other media, including from Facebook directly, gave the details.
Previously, if a person died without someone else knowing their password, there was no way to make changes – you’d still get their birthday notices, people could make friend requests (not that they’d get a response), and you wouldn’t know the person was dead. The only way to delete the account required knowing the password. Companies like eClosure sprang up to address this need for shutting down email and social media accounts.
With this new change, while you’re alive, you name someone else you know on Facebook to be your legacy contact. That person can make changes to memorialize your account. They will be able to:
- Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message)
- Respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook (keeping more people connected on the site)
- Update the profile picture and cover photo
To update your settings to name a legacy contact, open your Facebook settings tab, choose Security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page. After choosing your legacy contact, you’ll have the option to send a message to that person letting them know what you’ve done (probably a good idea – you wouldn’t name someone as executor for your will without telling them in advance).
Facebook’s redesign for memorialized profiles to pay tribute to the deceased short-circuits the growth of online businesses seeking to benefit from something Facebook was not offering. The social media landscape just keeps changing.
I’m proud to share the news that my talk on “Jews and Cremation” at the JCC’s A Taste of Honey educational event garnered a perfect score of 4 – all “outstanding” evaluations. I was the top-ranked presenter of the entire day. If you’d like an outstanding talk for your organization, let’s talk!
The next Albuquerque Death Cafe is this Saturday, February 21 at my home. Post a comment if you want to come and I’ll email the directions to you. Also, tune in to KVSF Radio – The Voice of Santa Fe on Wednesday, February 25 at noon Mountain Time. I’ll be interviewed live in their studio that day about the Journey Santa Fe talk I’m presenting at Collected Works book store on Sunday, March 15.
Highlights of some recent blog posts, upcoming events and a humorous quote follow. Please call me at 505.265.7215 if I can be of assistance.
Live long and prosper,
Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®
The Family Plot Blog Highlights
A Star Wars-Themed Funeral for a Big Fan: Gordon Deacon was a huge Star Wars fan. Appropriately, he had a Star Wars-themed funeral in Cardiff, Wales, after his death at the age of 58.
Chaplain Karen Kaplan Speaks About Hospice, Book: Her book, Encountering the Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died, gives readers a look at the inner workings of today’s hospice services, as well as a glimpse at what people most care about in their final days. She was interviewed on A Good Goodbye Radio.
PBS FRONTLINE Show Examines End-of-Life and Medicine: You can still catch this program Being Mortal, the same title as the best-selling book by surgeon Dr. Atul Gawande, online. The documentary focuses on end-of-life issues, death and dying in America.
Even Young Adults Need End-of-Life Planning: A recent Dear Abby column addressed a letter from a 20-something whose mother wants her children to do advance directives, wills and power of attorney documents.
Upcoming Events and a Humorous Quote
Saturday, February 21, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Albuquerque Death Cafe at Gail Rubin’s home. The objective of the Death Cafe is “To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.” It’s all about an interesting, unstructured conversation – open and free-flowing with no specific agenda. At these events, people come together in a relaxed, confidential and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea (or your favorite beverage) and eat delicious cake or cookies. Post a comment below to RSVP for address and directions.
Tuesday, March 10, 8:00 a.m. to noon: The Financial Planners Association of New Mexico annual meeting hosts Gail Rubin presenting “Estate Planning, Hollywood Style,” featuring film clips illustrating issues around wills, inheritance, pet trusts and funeral planning. The event provides continuing education credits for financial planners. Click for more information.
Tuesday, March 10, 3:00 p.m.: Osher Lifelong Learning at UNM Continuing Education hosts Gail Rubin presenting “Doctor, How Long Do I Have?” Having a serious healthcare conversation with your doctor takes effort to ensure clear communications. Learn how to ask questions and be involved in treatment decisions by watching dramatic and comedy films depicting doctor-patient conversations. Also, watch examples of patient-family interactions for tips on improving family communications around serious diagnoses. Register for Course #19890 at Osher’s website.
Sunday, March 15, 11:00 a.m.: The Journey Santa Fe speaker series features Gail Rubin speaking on Going Green with Your Final Arrangements. Topics will include green burial, the carbon footprint of cremation, Jewish burial and what you need to know NOW before there’s a death in the family. The free event is open to the public and takes place at Collected Works book store, 202 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe. More information at www.JourneySantaFe.com.
April 8-11: Gail is in San Antonio, Texas for the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) convention and the conference of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).
“Before he died, my father asked to be cremated and have his ashes spread on a golf course. I put in in a sand trap. He could never get out of the bunkers when he was alive; now he’s spending eternity there.” — Jeff Jena