The nominated person will be able to update the profile, accept and send messages and friend requests, and upload pictures. However, according to Facebook, the online executor will not have the rights to change privacy settings and existing friends, remove or edit previous posts, see private messages of the profile, or log in as the user who passed away.

Previously Facebook had frozen an account of a deceased user to serve as a permanent “memorial”.

Facebook has been relatively slow to address the thorny issue of what happens to accounts when their owners have expired.

A FEATURE on Facebook that allows users to appoint a loved one to maintain their social media account after they die has gone live today.

“If someone chooses, they may give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information they shared on Facebook”.

The social network ensures people are informed when they’ve been nominated as a legacy contact, and it’s possible to remove and add a new contact if you should divorce or otherwise fall out with your nominated person. In August 2014 Twitter updated its policy to make it easier for relatives to deactivate accounts of deceased family members.

Of course, you could just write your passwords down and stick them in an envelope to be opened on your demise, if you prefer, but then people will be able to read everything in your inbox.

“For many of us, it’s also a place to remember and honor those we’ve lost”. However, the network has received “hundreds of thousands” of requests since this practice began in 2007.

If they do not do so, but do name a “digital heir” in their will, Facebook said it would acknowledge this person as the legacy contract holder. However, a friend or family member will have to inform Facebook of their death.

Those looking to set up a legacy contact will need to pick a trustworthy friend who doesn’t take advantage by adding an embarrassing picture to the memorialized profile.

And to my wife, I leave my… Facebook account

Facebook introduces legacy contacts in UK