Life After Death – Facebook Let’s You Choose a Legacy Contact

Facebook Legacy Contact Feature

Facebook’s New Legacy Contact Feature

Facebook Legacy Contact Feature Released

Over 8,000 Facebook users die each day, yet Facebook’s terms and conditions haven’t kept up with the every growing issues surrounding death of social media users. Today, Facebook announced that it will now allow users to designate a Legacy Contact who can manage their account when they pass away. Proof of death through an obituary or death certificate will need to be provided and once the user’s death has been authenticated the designated legacy contact will be able to:

  • Post an announcement, memorial information or special message on the top of the person’s timeline.
  • Respond to recent friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
  • Modify the deceased profile picture and cover photo.

It is also possible for Facebook users to give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of photos, posts and profile information that had previously been shared on Facebook. Considering how much content we all share on Facebook on a daily basis, the Facebook Legacy Contact feature could be quite helpful if you’re contemplating digital legacy plans for yourself and your family.

To get started —> Open your settings. Choose Security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page.

Facebook has also redesigned memorialized profiles (a user’s profile that’s no longer “active”) by adding “Remembering” above the deceased’s name and making it possible for their legacy contact to pin a post to the top of memorialized profile Timeline. This provides the community with a signal, and the opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased. View the official press release from Facebook here.

If you’ve gone down the Facebook Legacy Contact feature route, we would love to hear your thoughts. How did you find the process? Was it helpful to start a conversation?

If you find this interesting, you might find our digital afterlife blog posts helpful.


Suicide Takes Hold of Anyone – Including Robin Williams

It is hard to fathom that someone who has brought so much joy and laughter to millions could be taken from us by suicide. But sadly, today it was announced that famous comedian Robin Williams died a victim of suicide at age 63.

He was most famously known for his starring roles in classic comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dr. Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting and rose to fame in the show Mork and Mindy, a Happy Days spinoff.

William’s wife Susan Schneider released the following statement this morning to The New York Times:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one if its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope that the focus will not be on Robin’s death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

You will be missed Robin Williams, you will be missed. Although, we can never fully understand how powerful suicide can be, we hope that your legacy can live on through your movies and through bringing such a heartbreaking topic to the forefront!



The Power of Storytelling: A Brand’s Forgotten Art

Article By: Cory Edwards

There’s real power in a story. So much in fact that a fan­tas­tic account, fact or fic­tion, often dic­tates the news cycle—regardless if it’s news­wor­thy or not. Sev­eral weeks ago I was reminded of this fact while lis­ten­ing to a Freako­nom­ics pod­cast. They reminded me of a news story that broke back in Feb­ru­ary about an 18 month old giraffe named Mar­ius from the Copen­hagen Zoo. Marius was euth­a­nized and fed to the lions at the zoo because of his less than ideal genetic makeup. Do you remem­ber hear­ing about this?

My intent isn’t to pro­vide a com­men­tary on whether this was right or wrong. It was with­out a doubt a sad event. But the Freakononom­ics pod­cast reminded me that despite sig­nif­i­cant tur­moil and esca­lat­ing civil con­flicts result­ing in many human deaths world­wide, this is the story that cap­ti­vated the nation, trump­ing most other news for an entire week. The New York Times, CNN, BBC, Time, and The Guardian among oth­ers may have given this story legs, but social media made those legs move. Social has given new life to sto­ry­tellers, and its power is clearer than ever. For brands, cap­ti­vat­ing con­sumers with com­pelling, engag­ing sto­ries that are rel­e­vant and mean­ing­ful is more impor­tant than ever.

What You Have to Say Matters

Why is it so impor­tant that brands learn to tell a good story? Well, for starters, con­sumers place more value on what their fel­low con­sumers think than what brands have to say. That’s noth­ing new; we’ve known for years that cus­tomers trust one another more than com­pany spokesper­sons, even the CEO. But here’s why it mat­ters. When a brand can relate to its tar­get audi­ence on a higher level with some­thing real—whether it’s a heart­warm­ing tale, a unique expe­ri­ence, or sim­ply a good laugh—customers lis­ten. A great story evokes emo­tion, per­suades, even com­pels. More impor­tantly, peo­ple who have felt some­thing while being lost in a good story want to share. If social media is the vehi­cle, your story can be car­ried away in an instant. What you have to say mat­ters. Make it res­onate and your mes­sage will cap­ti­vate the crowd.

A Pic­ture Is Worth a Thou­sand Words

By now, most of us have real­ized that our con­tent is bet­ter received when com­ple­mented by pic­tures. Per­haps it’s because we are a visual learn­ing soci­ety; as many as 85 per­cent of peo­ple describe them­selves as such. Social media posts with images increase click-through rates con­sid­er­ably. On Face­book, for exam­ple, research has shown that the engage­ment rate dou­bles if a pic­ture is added to a post rather than just a link. Think about your own posts to Face­book, do your pho­tos do con­sid­er­ably bet­ter than just your thoughts or links shared? Mine sure do.

Con­tent in long form ben­e­fits sim­i­larly: a blog post or arti­cle with images receives 94 per­cent more views than those with­out. It’s more than that, though, because today’s mar­keter has a unique oppor­tu­nity to cap­ti­vate, com­pel, and per­suade through images. The pop­u­lar­ity of plat­forms like Insta­gram, Pin­ter­est, Tum­blr, SnapChat, and other image-sharing plat­forms is only expected to increase, and the growth of video in just the past year is stag­ger­ing. And let’s not for­get the value of video in sto­ry­telling, a topic wor­thy of vol­umes of books on its own.

Here’s a for instance. A Thai cell­phone com­pany called True Move H pro­duced a video enti­tled “Giv­ing” that chron­i­cles a pow­er­ful story of com­pas­sion, giv­ing, and pass­ing on good. The video’s story is unmistakable—a tear­jerker for sure, leav­ing the viewer want­ing to do good for oth­ers. To date, it has gen­er­ated tens of mil­lions of views across the world. It is a pow­er­ful story, but it is also on-brand for the firm that cre­ated it, which believes in the power of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and connectedness.

The Social Busi­ness Is Storytelling

When we think about what it means to design a social busi­ness, we can’t ignore the role of sto­ry­telling in the process. More specif­i­cally, brands who engage their cus­tomers do more than describe their lat­est prod­ucts or ser­vices. They tell the story of who they are, not only the peo­ple behind the brand, but also how their cus­tomers con­nect to their prod­ucts in ways that give them the abil­ity to do more. These are the sto­ries that bring dif­fer­en­tia­tors to life, that illus­trate the why and how behind the what and where. The social busi­ness is sto­ry­telling. The faster we start reveal­ing, the bet­ter off we’ll be.


The Meaning of Memorial Day

On this 3 day weekend many of us will partake in traditional Memorial Day BBQ’s, concerts, parades, or road trips. But how many of us really know the reason for the holiday?

Originally called Decoration Day, it was started three years after the Civil War ended on May 5, 1868. The day was set aside for the nation to decorate the graves of those who died servicing during the Civil War.  By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion to honor all Americans who had died serving the United States through any of our wars and traditionally held the last Monday in May…historians suggest the later date in May to be chosen because flowers would be in bloom throughout the nation – giving more options to decorate the graves at the cemeteries.

What will you do to celebrate Memorial Day and the people who died serving our country?

Funeral Planning: Terms You Should Know

Description: There are a number of glossary terms that are associated with funeral services which are important to have an understanding of, should the need for the services of the funeral services homes in the US arise. The following is a list of some of the most commonly used glossary terms when planning for funeral services.

An administrator is one appointed by the court to take care of the estate of the deceased who hadn’t written a will.

An arrangement room refers to the room in the funeral home where bereaved family meets with the staff to make plans for the funeral services.

The attorney in fact refers simply to the person who is given power of attorney (the ability to make financial decisions for the deceased or incapacitated).

A beneficiary is one who receives the proceeds from the deceased’s will and/or insurance policy.

A gift of property designated in a will is called a bequest.

Bereaved refers to the members of the deceased’s immediate family.

Burial permits are documents required by certain states before being allowed to bury or cremate the deceased’s remains.

A casket is a large container designed to carry the deceased’s body or remains.

The cemetery is the burial ground used to conduct final funeral rites or services.

Cremation means burning human remains using highly intense heat, while a crematory is the building which has a furnace set aside for cremation purposes.

Death certificate refers to a legally binding document issued and signed by either medical professional or coroner allowed by the law to perform such a task.

A display room is where you can view the products in the funeral home such as caskets and urns among others.

Disposition simply refers to any methods in which the body remains will be disposed of finally.

Embalming refers to the use of chemicals to preserve human remains on a temporary basis.

Eulogy refers to speaking publicly about the praiseworthy deeds of the deceased during the funeral.

A funeral director refers to one who professionally prepares the body of the deceased for burial, in addition to supervision of burials and maintaining funeral homes for future use.

Funeral insurance is a policy designed to cover all funeral expenses and costs.

Funeral home is also referred to as a mortuary and is where the deceased’s body is preserved while awaiting burial.

A funeral service can by any ceremony, religious or not, in which the bereaved say their goodbye’s to the deceased before they are put to rest.

Green Burial is a newer term, it refers to a burial processes without the use of chemical preservatives. The body is buried in a simple container that is better for the earth.

Morgues are places where the dead are kept as they wait to be properly identified by their next of kin.

A niche refers to the inner chamber where urns are placed.

In cemeteries you get charged opening and closing fees which refer to the costs incurred in having the grave dug and refilled.

Pallbearers are family or close friends of the deceased who carry the casket.

Probate refers to the process in a court where the will’s validity has to be proven.

Remains, of human, refer to the deceased’s body.

A trust, usually in the form of a fund, is managed by one person for the beneficiary of the trust (usually a younger family member)

Urns refer to special containers designed to hold the remains of humans who have been cremated.

Usually held at a funeral home, a visitation is when a body is put on display where friends and family can visit the body and pay their respects.

Wake is an exercise carried out by the family or friends of the deceased of watching over his/her body before burial.

A will is a legal document where the deceased has stated their wishes for the dispersal of their assets, what to do with the remains, and other matters.

What We’re Up To – May 2014

Wow, talk about a whirlwind! Since our launch on April 16th (National Health Care Decision Day) we have been up to great things…mostly spreading the word about our guide and the resources we offer! On a daily basis our community and distribution is growing through relationships with hospitals, hospices, community organizations, non profits serving terminally ill patients, the list goes on!
  • Gay Men Together In Grief – Hosted by Legacy Hospital. Details
  • Dove Lewis Pet Loss Support Groups (several recurring events). Details
  • Do you have empathy? This video brings the thought provoking question to the forefront. Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care


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Funeral Etiquette

When you are thinking of attending a funeral, it is often a good idea to keep the tips below in mind to ensure that you are as respectful as possible to the bereaved.

Keep time
Always make sure to arrive early, more than a few minutes before the service starts. Most of the delayed funeral services out there are normally attributed to the attendants coming late. By making sure that you are on time, you can ensure that the service starts in a timely fashion and it shows your respect.

Sign the registry in an appropriate manner
Always sign the document with your first and last name, and also include your relationship to the deceased.

Avoid seeking out the family before the service
When you find that the family members are greeting other people during the service, try and keep your interaction with them minimal, so that you can give them time to greet all the guests in attendance.

Be respectful
Avoid things such as eating during the service. Keep your phone on silent mode, and quietly exit the service if you think you are going to be overly emotional to avoid disrupting the service. If asked to say something, try keeping it brief and respectful. Also, avoid taking photos as much as possible; this can be misconstrued as a violation of privacy in a funeral situation.

Be respectful towards urns
If an urn is displayed at a service, do not touch the urn as it could be considered disrespectful to the deceased or the family.

Avoid going to the service with children if you think they are going to be a distraction, such as if they are fussy. If the children have to attend the service, they should be told what to expect so as to be able to behave appropriately. Families with small children should consider sitting near the back in case they need to leave the service without disrupting.

Show respect to the bereaved by wearing the appropriate clothes (subdued colors and non-provocative clothing). In some situations different attire may be appropriate for a funeral. If the deceased or the family have made special requests then different clothing (bright colors or specific clothing) is acceptable.

When part of a funeral procession, follow the instructions of the funeral director

When going to a graveside service, you should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don’t park on the grass
  • Remove your hat during the service
  • Avoid walking directly on graves
  • Don’t engage in photography unless expressly permitted

Be discreet when offering any kind of help to the deceased’s family
When you arrive at a wake or funeral, it’s often recommended that you go to offer your sympathy to the family before joining others in attendance.

Before Death Checklist


  • Update Your Will
    • Determine who will get your assets when you pass
    • This should be kept with your Power of Attorney (see below) and Advanced Directive (see below)
    • People who should have a copy: Lawyer, You, Power of Attorney (whoever you decide)
  • Designate Power of Attorney (when necessary)
    • Gives someone the power to make financial decisions for you, when you are not able to make those decisions for yourself
      • Ex. If you are in an accident and are left with no ability to think for yourself
    • People who should have a copy: Lawyer, You, Power of Attorney
  • Fill out Advanced Directive
    • Designates your medical wishes
    • People who should have a copy: Doctor, You, Power of Attorney
  • Prepare a Contact List
    • People who should be immediately notified of the death (immediate family, power of attorney, etc.)
    • People who should be notified and invited to the funeral/memorial
    • People who you DO NOT want notified and who are NOT to attend the funeral/memorial
  • Plan and Write Out Wishes
    • What type of service you would like
    • Where you want the service
    • Burial/Cremation/Donation to Science
    • Where you are to be buried/cremated
  • Write an obituary (optional)
    • Allows you to decide what is written
  • Make a list of important account information
    • All accounts so they can be closed after your death
      • Bank
      • Utilities
      • Cable
      • Cell Phone
    • Where your accounts are (bank, phone, etc.)
      • Which bank?
      • Which cable company?
  • Make a list of death benefits & insurance policies
    • Auto insurance
    • Home insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Veteran services
    • Social security
  • Make a list of assets
    • Titles
    • Registrations

Flowers for Funerals: The Best Way to Show Sympathy

Death isn’t something that is new to all of us. In fact, we hear people dying every now and then. But very few of us know the best way to extend our sympathy to the family of the departed. We go to funeral and we don’t know how to react around family members and we’re clueless on what to say to somehow help ease their pain.

This is where flowers are extremely useful. When you wish to send your condolences or share your sympathy, sending flowers is one very popular option. It’s a very meaningful gesture and people from across the globe appreciate it. But did you know that different type of flowers express different messages?

Below are the common flowers given during funeral and the type of message they send.

Lillies- If there’s one flower that is deeply associated with funeral services, it would be lily. This flower represents the restored soul of the person who died and is a symbol of innocence. White lilies symbolize purity and majesty while white stargazer lilies express deep sympathy.

Carnations– Do you ever wonder why carnations are common fixtures to most funerals? This is because carnations, depending on their colors, represent innocence, pure love, remembrance, and admiration.

Chrysanthemums- This type of flower is very famous in Japan, Korea, and some European countries. They represent grief and lamentation. However, in United States, Chrysanthemums are often associated with truth.

Roses- Just like carnations, Roses are common fixtures on funeral because they’re one of the most recognizable flowers. Flower arrangements usually contain roses with different colors as they symbolize different meanings. A white rose symbolizes youthfulness, humility, reverence, and innocence. Red rose on the other hand, convey courage, love, and respect. Pink rose symbolizes gentility, grace, and love.

When going to a funeral, its important that you’re very sensitive to the people you’ll see, especially the family of the departed. Take time to research the type of flowers that you’re going to give them and make sure that it sends the right message.

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