How Do You Tell Facebook Someone has Died?

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Even though losing a loved one comes with a lot of pain, grief, and with many details to take care of, you do not want to put off memorializing their Facebook page. When you do this, you essentially freeze their account so that hackers or malicious acquaintances / friends / family members can’t take control of the account.

You actually have the choice to memorialize a deceased person’s Facebook account or you can have the account deleted.

When an account is memorialized, here is what happens:

  1. The account becomes locked so that nobody can login to it.
  2. No more changes can be made to the account settings, friends list or content that is there.
  3. If the deceased’s settings allow posting to their timeline, that will still be allowed. This is nice because people can leave messages or tributes. It’ll help give them some closure.
  4. Anyone who was able to see the posts on the account (per the privacy settings in that account) will still continue to be able to see posts, comments, likes and photos on that account.
  5. Any account that has been memorialized will no longer be seen in lists of friends / people you know or birthdays.

To remove or delete the Facebook account of a person who has passed away, follow these steps:

  1. Go to this page:
    Special Request for Medically Incapacitated or Deceased Person’s Account
  2. Fill out the form there and send the information to Facebook.

Facebook will require that you provide proof that you are an immediate family member. They will not give you the login to that account. They will need to know which email address was used to create the account.

Facebook gives you these options on that page:

  • Please memorialize this account
  • Please remove this account because the account owner is deceased
  • Please remove this account because the account owner is medically incapacitated
  • I have a special request
  • I have a question

Facebook will guide you through the process to memorialize the account.

Here’s a video on how the process works:

Facebook Legacy Contacts

You can also set up an legacy contact for your page before you pass away. This is the person who will look after the memorialized account. This is done so that there’s someone there to answer questions or help others who are grieving.

This person can:

  • Post on the deceased’s account. They can post a final message with some details. This only is allowed if the legacy contact was a friend of the person that died and has permission to do this in the deceased’s privacy settings.
  • Respond to incoming friend requests.
  • Update the profile photo and cover photo.
  • Request the removal of the account – if they so wish.
  • They can download the data from the account.

The legacy contact cannot do these things:

  • Login to the account.
  • Change posts that were made in the past.
  • Read messages.
  • Remove friends and create friend requests.

Additional Help for Facebook Memorialized Accounts

Here are some links to Facebook help pages that may help you:

How to Un-Memorialize a Facebook Account

It’s possible that a Facebook account is memorialized by mistake. It can either be the wrong account or maybe the person was thought to be dead but then was not or other reasons. This sort of thing happens.

To change a memorialized account back into a normal Facebook account, go here:


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