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Handling merge / ondelete cascade on Contact + custom object



I have a custom object, related to Contacts (lookup relationship, cannot use master-details because different reasons).


I'd like to handle delete and merge functions: when user deletes a contact, related custom object should be deleted as well ->

I've created a before delete trigger on contacts, worked well. (cannot use after delete, because contact reference disappears from custom object on delete)


I'd like to handle merge as well, so I need an if(triggerContact.MasterRecordId == null) expression for my delete trigger (so the merge could be done), but the problem is that MasterRecordId field is just getting value after delete, not before.


How could I solve this anomaly??

I'd appreciate any kind of idea..

Thank you,