Why End-of-Life Planning Needs to Get With the Times

Guest Post by Moran Zur from Safebeyond

Workers in the funeral industries have known for a while how changing technologies are changing their jobs. In part thanks to Death Goes Digital, funeral industry workers and leaders can keep up to date with the latest available news. But what about the customers you’re serving? They need help navigating the digital world too.

SafeBeyond is an online service to help with digital end-of-life planning and offers solutions to some of the problems you might be familiar with from your work in the funeral industry. In this post, I’m going to talk about why SafeBeyond should be a part of any end-of-life planning and look at how three key modern problems are solved:

  • Settling accounts after death.
  • Maintaining emotional connection after death.
  • Managing social media after death.

Settling Accounts After Death

The Old Way: When someone passed away, the trustee of the estate faxed a copy of the death certificate to close accounts.

The Modern Problem: Trustees have no idea what online accounts are open, how to access them, and what must be done to close them. It’s not only inconvenient but can also be emotionally upsetting to deal with outstanding online accounts. Embarrassing or personal accounts can be left open, leaving recurring charges to surprise trustees’ unsuspecting family after they’re gone.

The SafeBeyond Solution: As a part of end-of-life planning, our users upload a secure list of all their accounts, passwords, and select a tech-savvy trustee to manage those accounts after their passing. A trustee can manage all or some of the accounts. Personal accounts that the user may want to keep from family can be maintained by a trusted friend discreetly and without anyone else ever knowing.

Maintaining Emotional Connections after death

The Old Way: Dying people wrote and sealed letters for their loved ones to open in the future. Those caught by surprise from death missed out on leaving words for their friends or family.

The Modern Problem: Most people don’t use letters today, and they want to leave videos, images, and more to their surviving loved ones.

The SafeBeyond Solution: Other services let you send a “death letter,” but they stop at that. SafeBeyond provides a chance for people to stay involved in the lives of their loved ones after their death. Safebeyond’s after death messages are programmable to be released at a designated date in the future, during a special event, or in a precise location. You can make a video for your grandchildren’s wedding even if they're still in elementary school. A trustee will mark the video for release once there is a set date for these events.

Managing Social Media Accounts after death

The Old Way: There was no such thing as social media. People who were interested in doing so helped in creating their obituaries.

The Modern Problem: Most people have at least one social media account, but don’t even think about what will happen with it after they die. Many people have several. Surviving family members and friends have no idea what someone’s wishes were regarding their Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.

The SafeBeyond Solution: SafeBeyond holds a list of all a person’s social media accounts and passwords, but goes beyond that. With SafeBeyond, you can designate a trustee for each account and leave your directives. Leave your “final Facebook message” on SafeBeyond so that  your trustee can post it after you’ve passed away. For those who don’t want to make such a public social media post, they can leave instructions to that effect privately on SafeBeyond.

The Beginning Of A New Way Of End Of Life Planning

In the digital age, end-of-life planning has become muliti-faceted. Because we live a significant part of our lives online, preparing for the hand-over of these assets is now more complex and can’t be overlooked. As we move steadily towards global internet access and continue to shift our businesses and our personal lives to online platforms, the need for digital asset management will grow. Digital estate planning addresses both our practical and emotional needs, providing peace of mind. With SafeBeyond, people can rest assured knowing that their most important digital assets and messages are secure.

About the Author: Moran Zur is the CEO and Founder at safebeyond.com, a “digital time capsule” and online platform that allows users to record and store video, audio and written messages to be accessed posthumously by their heirs and loved ones.

If you would like to submit a guest post for publication on Death Goes Digital please Contact Me I am looking for other companies, industries and individuals involved in the funeral industry to share their ideas, products and thoughts on how the Internet is disrupting the funeral business. 

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