Facebook has introduced a new - but rather morbid feature which will allow users to select a close family member or friend; dubbed a 'legacy contact', to manage parts of their account after they die. Alternatively, Facebook members can also opt to entirely delete their profiles after their death. Previously, the company automatically froze the accounts of deceased members which made it difficult for family and friends of the deceased to take control or update the profile; this makes the feature rather welcome, though admittedly depressing to think about.
However, this 'legacy contact' will have specific administrator permissions instead of gaining complete control of the deceased's Facebook account. The contact will not have permission to alter any statuses or photos the person might have posted; which means it'll be considerably embarrassing for relatives who would have otherwise wanted the nicest possible memorial account. Regarding this controversial aspect, Facebook spokeswoman Jodi Seth states:
We gave this a lot of thought, and ultimately decided against it for this first version.
Furthermore, the legacy contact also won't have permission to delete the account, nor will they be able to transfer said rights to another person.
Currently, the feature is only available in the US from today with more countries to follow, but if you already have the feature you can chose your legacy contact by simply heading over to Settings and then navigating to the Security tab to find the option at the bottom of the page. You can change this contact any time before you die, but after your death, that person will gain partial control of your account forever.