Facebook is now letting users choose a trusted family member or friend as a 'Legacy Contact' that can take over their account when they die.
The Legacy Contact is able to to write a final post, such as a special message or memorial announcement, which is then pinned to the top of the deceased's profile.
They will also be able to update the profile picture and cover photo and respond to new friend requests from people who were not yet connected on Facebook.
Users can also choose to give permission for their Legacy Contact to download an archive of posts, photos and profile information, though they won't be able to log in as that person or see their private messages.
Until now, Facebook has offered a basic 'memorialised' account option, though these could not be accessed or updated by anyone else. These accounts are essentially frozen, acting as a memorial page.
An updated version of Facebook's memorialised profiles adds the word 'Remembering' above their name.
Alternatively, you can choose the option for Facebook to delete your account permanently after your death.
The options are available under Settings>Security>Legacy Contact though the update is currently only available to US users. It's due to roll out to international users at a later date.
The update is an important step forward in addressing the problem of what happens to your data when you die.